Summary: Christmas Eve message. Helping people find their place in the Christmas Story.
I am so glad that you’re here. So honored that you would give us this time together as we get ready to celebrate Christmas Day tomorrow. I also, if I’m gonna be completely honest, I’m also just a little bit intimidated because Christmas Eve is the hardest message of the year for a preacher. And I think it’s because of the familiarity because we all kind of know the story, right? We all kind of come in here going, “I’ve sort of got this.”
If I were to tell you today that Mary was a virgin, anybody here gonna be shocked? You’ve heard that? Yeah. How about if I said that when they got to Bethlehem, there was no room in the inn? Anybody gonna be like, “Whoa, plot twist, did not see that coming?” We know the story, right? This is an incredibly familiar story, but the problem is that the more familiar we are with something, the less impressed by it we are.
I mean, think about it, I remember years ago for the first time ever, I went to this website I’d heard about. It was called google.com. And I went there and I typed in something I was interested in, and I got like thousands of pages, thousands of pages of whatever it was I was looking for, and I was blown away but I was so impressed by that. That’s not how I feel about Google today. Nowadays, my feeling is probably more summarized. It’s like this. It’s like, “Do I really have to open a web browser and go to Google and type in what I’m interested in? Couldn’t Google just already know what I want and give it to me? Like what is this? The 1890s?” I’m not impressed anymore.
When was the last time you pulled your smartphone out and looked at it and went, “This thing is unbelievable?” No, most of us, even though we’re carrying around more computing power than they used to put the men on the moon, most of us look at our phones and go, “I hate this thing. It’s kind of slow sometimes.” Right? See, the more familiar we are with something, the less impressed we are. And that’s a problem when it comes to Christmas
because Christmas is the most impressive thing ever. It should be.
I mean, think about it, that the God who made the universe, who simply dreamed up the entire cosmos and who flung stars across an expansive heaven, so vast, we can’t even begin to wrap our heads around it, that God loved you and me so much that He came to earth to save us from our sins. That’s either the silliest thing you’ve ever heard or the most significant thing you will ever hear. And yet the temptation is to go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Angels, manger, Magi, frankincense. Tell me something I didn’t know.”
And I can’t. I can’t.
Not and be faithful to the story that we’re all here to celebrate. So maybe rather than trying to bring something new out of the Christmas story, let’s do something a little different. Let’s try to find our place in it. Let me set the stage.
God loved us so much
that He made us. I know that seems backward when we’re talking about, “Well, God made us and then He loved us.” No, no. God
made you because He loved you. He made you so that He could love you. That’s how much God loves you. His love for you actually
called you into existence.
But out of His love for us, God gave us a choice, that is, we could do life with Him or we could do life without Him, and we chose
and we choose on a daily basis to say, “Thanks very much, but I got this. I’m gonna do this thing on my own.” And the Bible calls
that choice to do life in disobedience and apart from our relationship with God, it calls it sin. And the reality is that that doesn’t
ever take us anywhere good. 2017 is filled with plenty of reminders that there’s nothing good that comes from a life apart from
We’ve got mass shootings, we’ve got devastating hurricanes, we’ve got trusted political figures...well, okay, that may be an
oxymoron, right? And we all laugh at that, but do you understand how sad it is that we laugh at that? It’s so cliché that the
people leading us can’t be trusted, but that’s sin. That’s what sin has done to us. That’s the world that sin has created. That’s
the world that we have created by our sin. It’s not just them, it’s us too. And the worst part is that not only is sin choose to walk