Summary: This sermon is about making room for Jesus in the Inn of our hearts.
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
Text: Luke 2:1-7
"On February 24, 1948, one of the most unusual operations in medical history took place in Ohio State University’s department of research surgery. A stony sheath was removed from around the heart of Harry Besharra, a man thirty years of age. When only a boy he had been shot accidentally by a playmate with a .22-caliber rifle. The bullet had lodged in his heart but had not caused his death. However, a lime deposit had begun to form over the protective covering of the heart and gradually was strangling it. The operation was a delicate one separating the ribs and moving the left lung to one side. Then the stony coating was lifted form the heart as an orange is peeled. Immediately the pressure of the heart was reduced, and it responded by expanding and pumping normally. "I feel a thousand per cent better already," said the patient soon after the operation.
"There is a parable of life here. Our hearts develop a hard protective coating because of accidents and incidents in life. They are coated by the deposits of a thousand deceits and rebuffs. They are hardened by the pressure of circumstance. Inevitably they become smothered and insensitive to the divine. Ever so easily we find it easier to sneer than to pray. It becomes simpler to work than to worship. Self-satisfied, proud, often cynical, our hearts need a spiritual operation that only Christmas can perform when we dare to surrender our hearts’ burden before the cradle of Bethlehem" (Charles M. Crowe. Sermons For Special Days. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1951, p. 163). That is why Jesus is the reason for the Christmas Season. Jesus can heal our broken and wounded hearts. “Christmas is a time to celebrate, proclaim and demonstrate” (C. W. Kiningham. Year ‘Round Sermon Outlines. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987, p. 47).
CHRISTMAS IS A CELEBRATION
It is the birthday of Jesus that we celebrate on Christmas Day. We make a big deal about the birthdays of two of our Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Do we make a big enough deal about the birthday of Jesus? We sometimes substitute X-mas for Christmas. Is it possible that sometimes people say X-mas because they are trying to take Christ out of Christmas? Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Jesus revives the heart’s desire for a life that has meaning because Jesus is the one who gives life its meaning, it’s joy. “On July 14, 1789, Jean Lenoir, a cobbler living in an obscure side street in Paris, wrote in his diary: "Nothing of importance happened today." Just a short distance away was the Bastille (a prison), and on that very day a mob has stormed it. they killed the troops, freed the prisoners, destroyed the building, and started the French Revolution. That event changed the whole course of life in France." (Crowe. p. 162). A day without Jesus is a day without joy. Jesus is the Reason for the Christmas Season. When Jesus was born, it was the best day that the world has ever known. Yet, when Jesus was born, there was no room for him in the inn (Luke 2:7).
Luke 2:8-11tells us about when the angel greeted the shepherds in the field. The shepherds were scared. They had probably never seen angels before. Listen to what the angels told them. “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11 NKJV). Jesus is the Reason for the Christmas Season.
We cannot sing that song, “Down In My Heart” in all honesty unless we have the joy that Jesus gives in our hearts. “Principal Rainy, of whom a child once remarked that she believed Principal Rainy went to heaven every night, because he was so happy every day”. Rainy himself once said that “Joy is the flag that is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there" (A. Naismith. 1200 Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes. Great Brtitain: Pickering Paperbacks, 1988, p. 107). We cannot celebrate if there is no joy. Rainy was a man who made room in the inn of his Heart for Jesus (Luke 2:7). Jesus is the Reason for the Christmas Season.
Sometimes we are guilty of celebrating Christmas as if it was "nothing important." We are sometimes so near Christmas as a holiday with festivalism and commercialism while we are so far away in heart from our Savior who was born in Bethlehem almost 2000 years ago. Just as there was no room in the inn, there are times when people do not let Jesus come into their hearts (Luke 2:7). If the heart cannot cradle Jesus as its King, then it has no joy. Jesus is the Reason for the Christmas Season. Consider Epesians 3:16-19: "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge---that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (NIV). Jesus is the Reason for the Christmas Season.