Sermons

Summary: Christ coming into the world changes our story.

How Christmas Rewrote History

December 24, 2018

Did you know that the original Rocky movie had a different original ending? During Rocky’s fight with Apollo Creed, he was supposed to throw the fight so he could get money so he could buy Adrian a pet shop. They changed the ending because that’s not what a noble character would do.

In the Star Wars movies, did you know Luke Skywalker's name was originally Luke Starkiller. And the name of the third installment was originally Revenge of the Jedi, not Return of the Jedi.

There were even posters printed and you can buy an original for $6,000 on Ebay. Or copies for $10.

Did you know that George Lucas intended for Hans Solo to die at the end of the 3rd movie. Instead it ended with a big Ewok celebration.

Sometimes the writer’s original idea gets changed over time. The end of the story changes. As the story is rewritten it gets better. For most stories, the first draft, isn’t the final draft. There’s rewriting and editing and more.

Yet, when we read the Bible, when we listen to the Christmas story, that story was never rewritten. It was just right the way it was written, the way it was planned out, was perfect.

What’s changed - - - is our story. Our story has changed over time, and continues to change as time moves on.

You see, the message of Christmas is about how Jesus entered the world for you and me. And by entering the world, He changed the world. He changed my world and yours. He changed my life and yours. We didn’t know it, we didn’t expect it, maybe we didn’t even want it, but here we are.

Yesterday I referred to what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17. The fact that when we embrace Jesus our hearts change. The old person changes. We put them behind us. In a sense, we’re like a caterpillar. Just like a caterpillar, we change, and we become this beautiful butterfly.

That’s similar to what happens to us when we embrace Christ. But we need to know the story. We need to know that God sent His Son into the world for us. All too often, we don’t read the story, again, we assume we know it. So, tonight I thought I would read more of the story than we normally do. I’m wanting to tie together the gospel stories.

As we lit the candles, we read part of the story from Luke 1 ~

Now let’s read the rest of the story ~

18 Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, 19 and her husband Joseph,

being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

20 But as he considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,

25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called His name Jesus. – Matthew 1

As the time for the birth of Jesus arrived - -

1 A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea,

to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.

7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger,

because there was no place for them in the inn. – Luke 2

So, that’s the story of the birth of Jesus. I want to focus for just a few minutes on a couple of verses, then we’ll light the candles.

We can read the story, and we can read it quickly because we know it. But when we read it too fast, we miss a couples of things. Of course, we say we know it, but we need to be reminded again and again.

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