Summary: Looking at Christmas and making it truely a time to remmebr Jesus and not just presents and family moments. Experiencing Christmas.
Holding unto Christmas
We are going to begin a series today called Holding unto Christmas. It will run through the Advent season.
Preparing for Christmas is a time consuming process.
You have to make time to buy presents, attend dinners, work parties.
Like I said after the Christmas play last week, if you do not make time to enjoy Christmas, you will be one of those who have missed it.
Each week we will begin with a verse of the Christmas story and then grab also a text from somewhere else.
Luke 2:1-7 Read
The Christmas story is about the birth of Jesus.
The plan of God using a virgin (Mary) and a righteous man named Joseph.
The setting that the redeemer of mankind came to was a technology down version of today.
No printers. They didn’t even have indoor plumbing,
But some things that has not changed for over 2000 years is this:
Rulers of Rome wanted their money, demanded that all people return to their homeland and pay their taxes.
The government wanted all people to register so that they could keep track of them. Bethlehem was chaotic, the people were rude, had no time for each other, and money talked- if you had it, welcome! If not, you are on your own.
A bewildered Joseph and a pregnant Mary were trying to figure out what God is wanting and was expecting from them.
Bearing the awesome responsibility of being a part of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
They leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem. In Bethlehem, Mary is to give birth at a time when the town is the busiest , the people the rudest, and there was no room for a young girl with no money.
I think some of you who have been pregnant would have acted different with that Innkeeper… “What you mean you don’t have no room?”
(6) While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn.
Listen, the Inn was no 5 star- hotel. But I’m sure it would have been better than a barn.
I think any human deserves to be born in better conditions than that. A smelly barn, animals with all the bodily functions animals produce, all alone, no doctors, nurses, no running water and a dry place to put a new born.
The first group of people we need to look at is the ones like the Innkeeper.
He sensed dollar signs- everyone having to come back to Bethlehem to register for the census and pay their taxes.
He was too busy to care for a young mother and a baby.
There was no room for them because in the mind of the Innkeeper, there was better opportunity in someone else.
I am sure if the innkeeper would have known that the savior of the world was to be born that night, he would have found some room for him.
In the fall of 1775, the manager of Baltimore’s largest hotel refused lodging to a man dressed as a farmer. The manager thought that his lowly appearance would discredit his inn. The man left and found a room in another place. Shortly thereafter, the manager discovered that the man he had refused lodging was none other than Thomas Jefferson, then, Vice President of the United States. Immediately he sent a note to Jefferson and invited him to return as his guest. Jefferson replied by instructing his messenger:”Tell him I have already engaged a room. I value his good intentions highly, but if he has no place for a dirty American farmer, he has none for the Vice President of the United States.”
In the same way more than 2000 years later, there is no room for Jesus in the Inn. People hang out the “no vacancy “ sign when Jesus desires to have a place in their heart.
Write this down
I. The innkeeper missed Jesus because of indifference.
They knew their Old Testament. Torah. The law of God.
They knew that God was sending a savior to a condemned and dammed world.
They waited over 300 years for this.
They just kept putting it on the back burner until the Son of God showed up and they had no time for Him
They didn’t like the way He came. It did not suit them. It was not what they wanted it to be.
I imagine that almost everyone here is familiar with Charlie Brown in the comic strip. Well, a few years ago it pictured Lucy walking up to Charlie Brown just before Christmas and saying to him, Charlie Brown, since it is Christmas, I suggest that we lay aside all our differences and be friends for this season of the year. Charlie Brown says “That’s a great idea, but why does it have to be just at this time of the year? Why can’t we be friends all year long? Lucy looks at him and says, “What are you, a fanatic or something.”