Summary: A sermon for Christmas Eve.
“Room In Your Heart?”
Author Phillip Yancey once wrote:
“How did Christmas day feel to God?
Imagine for a moment becoming a baby again: giving up language and muscle coordination, and the ability to eat solid food and control your bladder.
Or imagine yourself becoming a sea slug—that analogy is probably closer.
On that day in Bethlehem, the Maker of All that Is took form as a helpless, dependant newborn.”
I think we sometimes forget the incredibly radical nature of this story because it’s so familiar to us and so often romanticized on Christmas cards and nativity scenes.
But it is hard-core stuff!!!
A travel-weary couple gives birth to a Baby and lays Him in a feeding trough, in a smelly barn.
And it’s very human and ordinary with sweat, blood; makeshift blankets and diapers; and the raw, immediate joy that comes with new life!
Jesus Christ, God With Us, the Good News made Flesh…
…comes into this world as an ordinary baby, born to an ordinary mother, lying in a makeshift crib that is so pathetic we ought to take pity.
Then there are the shepherds.
Shepherds were thought to be such low-life’s in those days; they lived outside the boundaries of “polite society,” were assumed to live shiftless lives, and would hardly be considered trustworthy sources for any important news!
And yet they are the first to hear, the first to see, the first to tell of Jesus’ birth!!!
It’s almost too scandalous.
Why didn’t God come into this world with “shock and awe”?
Why did God choose to be born into such poverty when He could easily have chosen to be born into luxury?
But the Apostle Paul indicates that this is God’s way, as he writes to the Christians in Corinth:
“Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are.”
This is a description of Reality!
These Words give us insight into how the Kingdom works and what God is like.
They also indicate to us that the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found today in the lives and witness of people we might not necessarily see as being strong or powerful.
We live in a culture that puts a lot of stock in following the ways of the influential, the good-looking, and the rich.
So, what does it mean to say that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born in a barn?
Does it mean that we are so often—way off base?
That we are so often—not living in Reality, and not living according to the ways of God and the Kingdom?
Has it ever occurred to you that finding the Messiah in such impoverished circumstances was as amazing 2,000 years ago as it would be today?
I mean the people were looking for a violent and conquering hero/slash revolutionary to overturn Rome and put Israel back on top.