Summary: Christmas message based on the reality that Jesus came as a real person so we can know God.
Jesus in the Real World
December 9, 2007
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
We: Raise your hand if you either are a teenager or you’ve been a teenager.
Now raise your hand if at anytime during your teenage years you wondered if your parents really understood what you were going through.
CHAIN LETTER FOR PARENTS
It reads: "Dear Friend: This chain letter is meant to bring relief and happiness to you. Unlike other chain letters, this one does not cost money. Simply send a copy of this letter to six other parents who are tired of their teenagers. Then bundle your teenager up and send him or her to the parent at the bottom of the list. In one week you will receive 16,436 teenagers – and one of them should be worth keeping. Warning: One dad broke the chain and got his own teenager back." (SermonCentral.com. Contributed by Phil Morgan.)
Mark Twain advised that when a child reaches 13 years of age, a parent should place the child in a BARREL, NAIL the LID shut, and FEED the teenager through a KNOT HOLE. And when the child turns 16 years-old . . . PLUG the HOLE!
Of course, Mark Twain was also the one who wrote, “When I was 18 years-old I thought my father was the most IGNORANT man alive. When I turned 21, I was surprised how much the old man learned in just three short years.” (SermonCentral.com. Contributed by Fred Sigle)
One of the hardest parts about being a teenager is the idea that what we’re going through is new to us and our generation and that no grown up could possibly understand, right?
One of the hardest parts about being the parent of a teenager is the idea that we do know what they’re going through, but we have a hard time communicating that to our teen.
And so some parents, in an effort to be able to communicate do weird things like dressing like their teen and trying to talk like them.
Back in the sixties and early 70’s, the parent would have said something like, “Hey man, I’m really trying to dig where you’re coming from.”
In the 80’s it would have been like, “That’s a real bummer, dude. Tell you what – let’s go play Donkey Kong – that’ll be totally awesome!”
Nowadays it’d be, “’Sup, dawg. Man, that’s totally whack!”
Parenting tip of the day: don’t do that to your teen, especially if they have friends around. It’ll take them years to forgive you for it.
I was fortunate enough to have a dad I could talk to, even about hard things when I was in high school, but not everyone has that or had that.
To me, probably the greatest thing about Christmas, other than the fact that it started the process of salvation, if you will, is that it showed that God went all the way to be able to relate to what you and I go through in life.
God is all-knowing, of course, and so He didn’t have to go that far, but He did. And so Jesus, in human flesh, experienced first-hand what it’s like for you and I to live day to day, with all the hassle, headaches, joys and wonders that brings.
And yet God is often looked at as some type of being who is far away and far beyond us, and unable to really interact with us and move on our behalf, and maybe just uninterested in doing so.
Have you ever felt that way? I can guarantee you that many do feel that way, even many Christians.
And that’s incredibly sad, because one of the great truths of Scripture is that God took on flesh and became one of us – a real person in the real world.
As we look at this passage of Scripture, my prayer is that if you are one of those who have never grasped the truth that God knows what you’re going through, that you’ll walk away with something that will change your life in a way you never thought possible.
God: Luke 2:1-24 (pp. 724-725) –
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.