Summary: A Christmas sermon
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.’ ” 7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.”
Any sincere student looking at history and at ancient mythology and fiction literature, both classic and contemporary would have to agree with the assessment that in all of recorded history one common thread connecting all of mankind is that he has looked and longed for the coming of a champion.
There have been and still are various movements in society of people with their heads buried in the sand who hold that mankind is on the way up, that mankind is getting better, that mankind is evolving into something superior, that in the end we will solve all our own problems and graduate to a higher plane.
Realists however know that this simply is not the case. And every time in history someone has made some bold declaration that the human race has learned its lesson and things are getting better, shortly thereafter there is a major war and men have rushed to slaughter one another once more.
One example that comes to mind is the fact that World War I was referred to as ‘the war to end all wars’. None of us living today has to have it pointed out to us how far off base that assertion was.
The world is a mess, it is a mess that has been growing without check since the Fall in the Garden, and thinking, intelligent men and women all over the world are well aware that mankind is in trouble and is not any more likely to find an answer to the dilemma now than in any past generation.
The world needs a champion. The world needs a savior. So it invents mythological gods; it invents superheroes; it seeks an impersonal redeemer in medicine and technology and philosophy… but every time the world thinks it has found what it needs, that in which we have placed our hope disappoints and we are left to begin the search over again.
Science has failed us, philosophy has failed us, religion has failed us, technology continues to give us nothing more substantial than enhanced toys or more deadly weapons, and there is no lasting escape even in fantasy.
What is the reason for this endless cycle of futility and dashed hopes? It is because the true Light came to the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. Men rejected the Light, for their deeds were evil.
And no one, no one, seeks for the Light by their own initiative for the Light exposes them as they are, and they do not want a redeemer who requires accountability; they want a rescuer, a fire extinguisher, a deliverer who will set them on their feet, ensure peace and safety, and let them go to continue in their own way, even though that way is the very problem from which they have sought deliverance.
WISEMEN DON’T SEEK HIM
We’ve all seen them, haven’t we? Every year around Christmastime the pithy, catchy little statements go up on the church signs and on Christmas cards and sometimes even bumper stickers, and one of the most popular reads, “Wise men still seek Him”.