Summary: The biggest catastrophe which has even happened is found in Luke 2:7...and continues today..
The Catastrophe of Christmas
* What do you think about when you hear the word, ‘catastrophe?’ Do words like disaster, calamity, ruin, tragedy, and more come to your mind? Yet if we are honest, we tend to think of catastrophes completely on an earthly or humanistic plain. For instance, Hurricane Camille (’69) & Katrina (’05) would be classified as catastrophes and our thinking is about the loss of human life and property. Honestly, this is our normal thinking. But is the real loss in life & property or could there be a greater catastrophe?
* Let’s illustrate it by thinking of catastrophes in scripture. When Adam & Eve sinned, many think the big deal was that they had to leave Eden, yet the real catastrophe was that they lost their personal relationship with God. Certainly it was a struggle when Cain killed able, but was the murder the major part of the catastrophic situation or was it that Cain attempted to approach God on HIS OWN TERMS instead of the Father’s term? When the flood came, was the true catastrophe that all but seven people died or was it that only 7 people listened to and obeyed the voice of almighty God. We could go on and on through God’s word doing a check on how we view tragedies & discover that the part of the circumstance which we ‘thought’ to be the most horrific was, while heart-wrenching, was not the worse part of the happening.
* With this as our background, have you ever considered that there could be a ‘catastrophe’ of Christmas? And that catastrophe is missed by many today. We find this almost obscured in the text which we read last week. Luke 2:7 – “Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the inn.”
* Herein lies the ‘catastrophe of Christmas’, ‘there was no room’ and in large measure (and sadly), ‘there is no room’ for Jesus. Would you please just think about that for a second? To think that there was ‘no room for Jesus’, God’s son, God’s gift, God’s promise, God’s provision, and God’s love gift to the world – and there was NO ROOM FOR HIM. Some would say, “He got here, so what’s the big deal?”
* It is a big deal because of the symbolism of there being no room for Jesus on His birthday, and now that tradition seems to continue. Let’s consider the ‘no room for Jesus’ and check out the symbolism.
1. No Room in the Hotel – The scripture clearly says there is no room ‘in the inn’. I do understand that this was not a skyscraping hotel, this is a symbol.
* An inn (of days past) & a hotel (of today) perform the same kind of service and in doing so give us a great illustration. The ‘hotel’ which I refer to is a microcosm of the “WORLD,” there is no room for Jesus in this world today, just look at some examples of how Christ is not welcomed here.
* Radio shack, Office Depot & Staples have removed “Christmas” from all of their advertizing, and why? Here is a direct quote from Staples, “We use the term Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. We do this because it does not office any other religions & to remain politically correct.” Best Buy stores, “Three years ago, they announce they would no longer use the word Christmas in its seasonal advertizing.” Now we can go on naming businesses who have made conscious choices to not allow the “Christ” found in Christmas to be used (I.E. the lists could includes some “Sonics, Targets, Sears, K-marts, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Wells Fargo Banks, etc). More evidence for the lack of room for Jesus in this world could be expanded to local, state, and even national governments. In fact, this is so prevalent that the FBC in Dallas, Texas, has set up a web site (grinchalert.com) to identify businesses & governments who acknowledge and celebrate Christmas by making room for Jesus in their establishments.