Summary: What does God have as a plan? The big picture includes his sone as one detail.
Acknowledgement – I found great value in a Christmas Sermon series by Darren Ethier – A fellow contributor to this site. His sermons are called “Christmas Perspectives Series.”
The Big Picture
A father and his son were taking a nature hike through the woods when they came upon some ants working furiously to clear a path. The ants were scurrying here and there trying desperately to provide a clear path for ant travel. They worked individually as well as a team, but to no avail. Father and son watched a long time in silence. Finally the boy looked at his Dad and said, "I wish I could help the ants." Father responded by telling his son that his presence would send them to hide for safety. After some more silence and some more observation the son spoke with much intent. "You know, Dad, if I could become an ant, become one of them for a short time I could help them."
-For the past few weeks, I have shared with you some different perspectives on the same old Christmas Story that we visit in one form or another.
And this morning I would like to conclude with the most important perspective of them all, God Himself.
God’s perspective is one that gives us hope, gives us joy, and leads us to great wonder. You see for God, the Christmas Story is not about one event singled out in eternity – but it is part of His big picture, His plan that began right after the fall of man. It started then and it will not be completed until the New heaven and earth at the end of the age.
It sounds like an impossible idea, to know and understand God’s perspective. It is just too big for us to get our heads around. In reality it probably is impossible and maybe even crazy to think we could try.
However, I do believe that in a way, God has provided the means to understand at lest a little bit, by reading our Bibles. The scripture today, is just one example that describes God’s perspective or reasoning about the need and the plan the view about the Birth of Jesus - the Christ. If we can’t claim to know what is in the mind of God perhaps we can use the information provided in scripture to find the heart of God.
The heart of God is that man would be reconciled to Himself.
The Heart of God is that you and I would know Him.
The heart of God is that you and I would worship Him.
The heart of God is that you and I would draw near to Him.
The heart of God is that you and I would have an intimate relationship with Him.
The heart of God is expressed in his coming to Earth – as one of us – in a form we would know.
He came to us in a form that could be recognized and trusted by the majority of people because he appeared like them. He looked like everyone else, He was not rich by birth, which matched most of the people. He came in a disguise of sorts, not to fool anybody, but to help out.
When God took the step to become a man he took a much larger step than if we had the ability to become an Ant. The difference between our selves and a an Ant looks very dramatic. But for God to come as a man was to that the eternal, immeasurable, all powerful nature of God and cram it into a small Tupper-ware dish and get the lid back on - there is no comparison. The difference between God and us is as vast a space.
When he took the step there were limits, there was pain, there was tiredness, desiese, discomfort of all human kinds.
Why take the step and accept limits and challenges?
Because God Loves his creation. God cares about his creation. God wanted to help his creation. The only way he could approach and be heard, to explain the big picture was to become like the creation. .
So, he came and:
He announced His birth to the shepherds to show that His grace, his love isn’t limited to the privileged, to the prosperous, or to the righteous.
He announced His birth to the wise men to show that His grace, his love isn’t limited to the Jews, or to those who have a spiritual heritage.
He announced His birth to Simeon and Anna to show that His grace, his love is for all who would wait on Him and desire it.
And today I announce His grace, His love to you!
So what is different than any other Sunday?
On this particular Sunday, we have all been, at least, exposed to a time of celebration. Exposure is how we catch the flu. The more personal contact with the subject the more likely we will catch what is going around.