Summary: In this sermon we discuss how so many people miss out on the true meaning of Christmas because their focus is on anything and everything but Jesus Christ
Missing Christ During Christmas
Text: Luke 2:41 – 49
You know, something interesting happens this time of year… every year at this time of year, it’s the same old thing… you see it when you talk to people, or visit with them a little bit… and it’s a very interesting phenomenon… And what I’m talking about is this strange attitude that seems to set in after Christmas…
You know… you go talk to people it’s they’re like, “Whew, I’m glad that’s finally over with.” And if you think about that… I mean, really think about it… isn’t that a strange way to be?
“Whew… I’m glad the time of celebrating Christ’s birth is finally over…” Of course, that’s not what they really mean when they say that. What they mean is that they’re glad all the running around, and hectic, holiday chaos has come to an end. They’re glad that there’s no more fighting the crowds at the mall, or JC Penny’s, or Wal-Mart (at least not for another year anyway). No more stressing out about whether or not people are going to like your gifts. Family members, and friends, and other guests are finally heading back home… and even though you love them and are glad to spend time with them, there’s a bit of relief in knowing that you can get back to your regular routine…
That’s what people mean when they say that – “Whew, I’m glad Christmas is over…” Of course, I think that part of the reason some of those things are so stressful is because we totally miss the meaning… we totally miss the fact that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus birthday. For some people, the presence of Christ is totally absent from their Christmas celebrations… And I’m not just talking about worldly, secular people… this can happen to us as Christians as well. We can get caught up in all the hustle and bustle and holiday activities and totally miss out on the presence of Christ during Christmas.
If that’s you this morning… or if that’s been you in the past, I think our text today can help. So if you would, take your Bibles and open them up to Luke 2:41 – 49 (READ).
Now let’s remember the Christmas story, because Luke is placing this event in that context. It started out with an angel appearing to Mary and telling her that she was going to have a baby… and that this baby would be the Saviour of His people. He was to be called Immanuel – which means “God with us.” And that He would be the Son of God. Joseph was also visited by an angel and he was told not to put Mary away, but that instead he was to go on and marry her, and raise this boy as his own. Then they had to travel to Bethlehem, and there was no room at the inn, so Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger… After that, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to the temple, to dedicate Him to the Lord and fulfil the covenant obligations… and they encountered Simeon and Anna… they returned to Bethlehem and stayed there for about two years. Then the wise men came… the magi, and after their visit, Joseph was warned in a dream about King Herod’s plan to kill Jesus, so He took Mary and Jesus and they went to Egypt. After Herod died, they came back to Judea, and eventually settled in the town of Nazareth.
And the Bible tells us that all of those things were done in order to fulfil prophecy. And that brings us to our text this morning.
Now I want you to really get this… Jesus is now 12 years old… All of the wonderful amazing events of the Christmas story have already happened. Joseph and Mary have seen them… they’ve seen shepherds and wise men come and worship their son. They’ve been visited by angels and heard prophets speak over Jesus. They’ve experienced Gods miraculous provision and seen how He kept them safe. But that was 12 years ago… now they’ve gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, and somehow… some way… they lose Jesus.
Now understand; it’s not like Jesus was a little baby anymore… He was 12… but still!
Mary and Joseph and Jesus go up to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, they do their religious duty, and then as they head home they go a whole day before they realize that Jesus was missing. Now how does that happen? Be careful here… You see; you might think that this is a complete failure at parenting. You might think this is negligence, or a dereliction of duty… that’s what I did… this week as I was reading through this, and studying it and preparing this message for you today, those are the thoughts that crossed my mind. And then a wave of conviction hit me like a ton of bricks. Because in my life there have been many… MANY times that I have neglected Christ’s presence. I’ve neglected His fellowship. I’ve gone my own way, not thinking about Him at all.