Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Christmas Eve message. Jesus left His home to remind us, we’re not home yet.

Christmas Eve 2002


**(Thanks goes to Robert Lowery from Lincoln Christian seminary for some conceptual ideas in this message)**

It’s amazing all the images a simple 4-letter word can conjure up. I’m referring to the word “home.”

In our vocabulary we have expressions like “home life,” “home, sweet home,” “home-maker” and “home free.”

In sports its nice to have the home court advantage.

Kids that go away to camp sometimes get home sick.

Sometimes good food is likened to home cooked meal.

Tim Allen starred in the TV show “Home Improvement.”

In baseball to score you have to come home.

We may know the words to songs like “Home, Home on the Range,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” or “Take Me Home Country Roads.”

James Dobson made a series of videos called “Turn Your Heart Toward Home.”

When you were little and rode your bike off to play with a friend, what would Mom say? Maybe, “You be home by dark,” or “Be home before dinner.”

Parents with teenagers may ask at the door, “What time are you coming home?”

When someone is in transition, they may be reminded “Home is where you hang your hat.” Or someone feeling out of place in a new residence could be comforted with, “Home is where your heart is.”

Christmas has a lot to do with home.

The songs, “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” make us think of times around the Christmas tree where “faithful friends who are dear to us will be near to us once more.”

Tomorrow morning, Kim and I leave for my parents. Even though we live in Downers Grove, when I head to Emden, Illinois, I say I am going home.

ILLUS – It was in December of 1903, (just 99 years ago this month)that after many attempts, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground and into the air at Kitty Hawk.

Thrilled over the accomplishment, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.”

Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.” He totally missed the big news—for the first time in human history, man had flown! (SOURCE: Daily Bread, December 23, 1991.)

Or had he missed the big news? The boys would be home for Christmas.

You know, the image of home is all over the Christmas story in the Bible.

Joseph and Mary traveled for that first Christmas. They had to go to Joseph’s family’s home-town. The tiny village of Bethelehem in Judea. And that is where Jesus was born. In a sense, Joseph could have said, “I’ll be home for Christmas.”

But there is another way in which home plays a part in the Christmas story. Maybe this picture can help us out.

**Show Slide Now**

Norman Rockwell painted this in 1954. I really like his artwork. He could capture a moment in time with brush and canvas like no one else.

Here we have two people, presumably a farmer and his son sitting on the edge of a dusty old pickup truck. The boy is holding a wrapped present of some sorts in his hands, maybe something from Mom. The family dog knows something is up. His head is resting on the boy’s knee. If you look closely you see that the boy’s suitcase has books stacked on top and bears an emblem for State University. It doesn’t take long to figure out that this boy is leaving for college. His face shows that he is anxiously watching for the bus, while his father stares in the other direction. Rockwell appropriately gave this painting the name, “Breaking Home Ties.”

And I wonder what the scene was like in Heaven when Jesus left His home to come to earth. I wonder if that day moved the heart of the Father.

**Stop showing slide now**

The angels sang “glory to God in the highest” which must have touched him deeply. And I’m sure God rejoiced in the miracle of incarnational love. Who wouldn’t have pride in their one and only Son?

But God’s gift to us didn’t come without a tremendous price tag.

Jesus left his home in heaven. Temporarily sacrificing the kind of union He had known with the Father throughout all eternity. The Father too would feel and notice the change in the way things had always been.

The Son came to earth as a baby. Vulnerable. Little. Helpless. Imagine this. The caregiver subjected himself to needing constant care. The Creator Himself willingly dwelt bodily inside the form of that which he had created. To be our salvation. To give His life for ours. To call us home.

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