Summary: Sermon Three in the series - Christmas was not "safe," and neither is the life of a God-follower. But it is ultimate good!

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Christmas in Narnia

“Of Course He’s Not Safe…But He Is Good!”

Luke 1&2, Matthew 1&2 Romans 8:28

At this time of year, I love going into offices, stores, even schools and hearing music celebrating the birth of Jesus – places you would never expect to hear a gospel message play music that contain some of the best and clearest sermons ever written! Of course that’s not true of all the music we hear played during this time of the year. Some of the so-called “Christmas music” we hear at this time of the year has nothing to do with Christmas at all – it’s all about the “holidays:”

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

With the kids jingle belling

And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It’s the hap-happiest season of all

With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings

When friends come to call

It’s the hap-happiest season of all[i]

That song not only misses the real meaning of Christmas – it’s just simply not an accurate statement – for many people, this is NOT the most wonderful time of the year!

Not when there is an empty chair at the table.

Not when your body is ravaged with illness.

Not when the depression is too much to bear.

Not when mom’s voice is not joining in the Christmas carols.

Not when you feel all alone - even in a crowd.

Not when you are not sure you can afford the rent or mortgage, let alone the presents.

Not when another Christmas party means he’ll come home drunk again – or not at all.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year?” No, quite often it’s not. Sometimes Christmas is not all about cookies – sometimes it’s just crumby! Not only is it rough for some of us today – it was a difficult and scary time for the main characters in the Christmas story as well!

Oh, how we have glossed over the Christmas story! Joseph somehow didn’t mind that his girlfriend was pregnant and he wasn’t the father. Mary’s parents must have been thrilled! We picture Joseph smiling as the Innkeeper turns them away. We somehow make a smelly stable and a cold, stone feeding trough “romantic.” Mary miraculously delivers her first-born without pain. Instead of the animals doing what animals do, with the accompanying odor and mess, we have the ox and lambs keeping time to the Little Drummer Boy’s music! In the song Away in a Manger, we sing, “The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.” Oh, come on! How many babies have you been around that didn’t cry? Especially if they were laying on a mattress of straw?! It didn’t get any easier either. When Joseph and Mary went to the temple in Jerusalem 40 days after the birth to present Jesus to the Lord, they offered two pigeons for the sacrifice – a sign of abject poverty. In the days to come, this young family would become refugees, fleeing Bethlehem as the king sweeps through the city in an act of terrorism that killed every male child less than two years of age. Somehow, I just don’t think that Mary and Joseph would label those days as the “hap-happiest season of all!”

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