Sermons

Summary: The great, awesome, majestic God has a wonderful way of using little POSSESSIONS, little PLACES and little PEOPLE to accomplish his will.

Little Things in the Christmas Story

Chuck Sligh

Christmas 2012

TEXT: Luke 2:4-7 – “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

INTRODUCTION

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, as has black Friday, so now we can concentrate on Christmas, my favorite time of the year. As I was thinking about the Christmas story this week, I was reminded about how often in life, little things are important. Michelangelo, known in his art for his attention to the minutest of details, said, “Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle.”

You’d better pay attention to the little things in life. If you don’t, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble…

Illus. – I remember changing my own oil one time several years back. I unscrewed the oil plug and let the oil drain out into an oil collection pan. Then emptied the old oil into an old container to take to the recycling center. Then I took off the oil filter and then replaced it.

It was then that I forgot one tiny little detail…I’ll see if you can figure it out as I proceed with my story. I then got 5 quarts of oil and poured it into the oil spout. I put my tools up and cleaned up, and when I came back to the car, I noticed there was oil all over the garage floor, and it looked like about…5 quarts or so. It was then I suddenly realized…I had forgotten to screw the oil plug back into the oil pan.

An oil plug is about one-half to three-quarters of an in wide and long…extremely small in comparison to a huge car…but very important.

Little things can in fact play very significant roles in many things in life.

You know, God is an awesome, BIG, powerful, astounding God, but He seems to delight in getting glory by using the littlest, most mundane, seemingly insignificant things and people. It’s interesting to look at some of the little things in the Christmas story.

I believe we can understand God better by looking at God’s choice of “little things” in the Christmas story Let’s consider some of them:

I. NOTICE FIRST OF ALL THAT GOD USES “LITTLE POSSESSIONS” – verse 7a – “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes…”

Jesus, the King of the Universe, was not wrapped in silken, colorful garments befitting His glory that would clothe a prince of royalty; but in swaddling clothes—the common, cheap, plain, white fabric used by the peasants, the poor, the common people.

But God using a little possession for His glory is nothing new. All through the Bible we see that God used little possessions for His service and glory:

• It was just A LITTLE SLING that killed mighty Goliath.

• Shamgar killed six hundred Philistines with just A LITTLE OX GOAD, which was a rod used to guide oxen.

• Moses parted the Red sea with A SIMPLE ROD, which was probably a shepherd’s crook.

• The widow could give only TWO MITES, but its value was far greater than the much larger gift of the rich man, for she gave her all.

• Jesus had need of A LITTLE COLT to ride triumphantly through Jerusalem.

• The little boy had only 5 LOAVES AND 2 FISHES to feed the 5,000:

I have not much to offer,

To Christ my Lord and King.

No wealth, no might, no wisdom,

No noble gift to bring.

Five loaves and two small fishes?

But what alas are they—

Among the throngs of hungry,

Who crowd life’s troubled way?

Five loaves and two small fishes?

Not much, my friend, ’tis true;

But yield them to the Master,

And see what He can do!

Placed in His hands of mercy,

Thy little will be much.

’Tis not the gift that matters,

But His almighty touch.

God uses little possessions.

II. SECOND, GOD USES “LITTLE PLACES” – verse 7b – “…and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

It may come a surprise to know that many homes of the rich in that day had many conveniences that we would call modern: hot and cold running water; spigots for pouring wine; even sauna baths.

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