Summary: What has Tintin to do with Christmas....all this and more in the sermon below, which goes on the assumption that readers (atleast most of them) are familiar with the universally popular Tintin comics.
Of Tintin and Christmas!!!
I agree it is time Christmas "message" time folks! But firstly how about having a round of Quiz? Which is your favorite Tintin comic? Do I hear the answers...Tintin in Tibet, Crab with the Golden claws etc etc. Some would confide, any comic with Captain Haddock (most spicy character) in it. Well, my favourite? "Red Rackham’s" treasure (with Captain Haddock in all his pristine glory), which is actually a juicy sequel of yet another Tintin thriller namely "The Secret of the Unicorn".
Action: Picture of the Cover pages’ of two immensely popular Tintin comics namely the "Secret of the Unicorn" and "Red Rackhams treasure"
Before, it gets more curious (what has Tintin comics to do with Yours truly’s Christmas message?) acquiring the contours of a full-fledged Tintin mystery, let me tell you that there is something common between Red Rackham’s treasure and the Christmas message, many of us go "treasure-hunting for"? Still, did not understand? Let me explain.
Where exactly do Tintin and his friends eventually discover the "sunken" invaluable treasure? In the Ocean depths? NAY!!! Literally and figuratively under their very noses...in the Marlinspike Hall!!! By the same token, do we not search far and wide trying to figure out the significance of Christmas, when it is right in front of our very eyes. In fact, one need not go any further than this Yuletide-related Scripture portion
"And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matt 1:21). JESUS MEANS THE SAVIOUR. Pure and simple. MESSAGE IS IN ALL IN THE NAME REALLY. To attribute Jesus’ birth to any other reason other than the clearly stated Biblical reason would be diluting the significance of Christmas. Nothing more, nothing less!!!
Why do we need a Saviour, if we weren’t in trouble? The main trouble in the World is NOT violence, corruption nor immorality. They are mere manifestations of the deeper malaise...SIN, which entered mankind the moment our first parents sank their teeth into the forbidden (Romans 5:12). That is why one Biblical scholar with Jeremiah 17:9 in his mind remarked at the heart of all human problems is the sinfulness of the human heart.
Raise your hands, those of you who have been taught "how to lie" by their parents or School teachers. No hands would go up. Yes, no one teaches us how to lie or for that matter commit petty thefts, but these actions "take birth" in us, right from our childhood days. By the same token, after we cross a certain age, we would not dare go outside the house naked. No, not even atheists would do that!!! Why? Is it not because of inherent, fallen Adamic nature in all of us, reminding us of shame, all the time? That is why the Saviour remarked Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God." This truth is as simple as it is profound. All of us, without any exception (even the so-called respectable people of the society, for they know their true condition in their heart of hearts) need a re-generation. It is to give this new spiritual re-birth that Saviour arrived right on dot in human history (Galatians 4:4). Jesus is no social revolutionary (to view him as one would be a case of missing the wood for the trees) but a spiritual revolutionary, who came to set right the shattered relationship (in the Garden of Eden) between God and man (Romans 5:19).
Now how does this spiritual re-birth take place? It is a one to one transaction between the Saviour and the sinner purely based on trust. Let the Scripture take over...
It is an experience to be experienced personally, for words may not be adequate to describe the heavenly joy that in fills the heart of a saved sinner when he/she put his/her trust on Jesus to save him/her from sins...
Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, - Psalm 32:2
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn--not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.- John 1:12-13
The immortal Christmas hymn (originally penned by Charles Wesley) gets it right...some portions of it I am quoting here..
Hark the Herald angels sing...
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
God and sinners reconciled!
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
While the same Saviour who in and through His First advent gives "joy and peace of salvation" individually to "all" who accept Him, ALSO guarantees to bring universal world-wide order and peace in His second advent (Isaiah 9:6).