Summary: Is Christmas a blooper or is it a true hope for everybody worldwide, looking for the Return of the King?
The Christmas Hope
By Pastor Andrew Chan
I got this “Church bulletin bloopers” from reading the Readers’ Digest:
• “The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.”
• “Morning sermon: Jesus walks on the water. Evening sermon: Searching for Jesus.”
• Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
• “Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.”
• “Potluck supper at 5pm. Prayer and medication to follow.”
Sometimes we wonder if what the Bible says about the hope of Christmas is really a blooper? Well-meaning, but sadly a little off-base. God coming via virgin birth to save people from sins. Could it be a blooper?
How does this square with a world of violence, disasters?
Is not the core reality of existence, one of struggle and pain and stress? What does the Bible really say about what’s real in this world?
Creation is in pain…
22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:22, Holy Bible, New Living Translation
The bible does not deny that there is something wrong… does not deny there is pain and struggle. It affirms that reality! Even Christians are not immune to that…
• 23 And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. Romans 8:23, Holy Bible, New Living Translation
However, that’s not the end of the story…
Creation will one day sing again. the JOY WILL ABOUND!
Look at the bible’s claim that the earth will be “…bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color.”
Isaiah 35 (The Message)
“Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower– Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color."
"The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel’s pastures and the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God." – Is.35:2 (NLT)
There is a hope that the earth will sing for joy again… even the hopeless dry desert will be green… because of God’s determination to further His glory, the Lord will display it… perhaps not now… but He will. And that’s the Christmas hope, there will be joy to the world. For the Lord is come… and it began with the birth of the Christ-child.
This is not a church bulletin blooper! Why? Because of the historical reality of a man who was born to be king, Jesus! Because He came, God will renew...
B. Stay Strong by hanging on to…
1. Return of the King
“With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. 4Say to those who are afraid, "Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” Is.35:1-2
One Jesus will return … your God is coming to save you! Just as sure Christmas day returns Dec. 25 every year, Jesus will return. Like Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, one day the noble rightful heir to the Throne will come in power and lead the armies of God to rid the world of all that’s evil and pain-filled. Each year at Advent, we’re reminded of this reality! Be hopeful, the return of the King is promised. Though we don’t know when, the promise is He will return.
11 I looked and saw that heaven was open, and a white horse was there. Its rider was called Faithful and True, and he is always fair when he judges or goes to war…
…and he was known as “The Word of God.” 14 He was followed by armies from heaven that rode on horses and were dressed in pure white linen. 15 From his mouth a sharp sword went out to attack the nations…
He will rule them with an iron rod and will show the fierce anger of God All-Powerful by trampling the grapes in the pit where wine is made. 16 On the part of the robe that covered his thigh was written, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Revelation 19 (Contemporary English Version)
SO… Retell the stories of Christ
5And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. 6The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Isaiah 35:5-7 (New Living Translation)
• Read the stories of Jesus from the original source, rely not on tradition. Look at how Jesus came for the sinner, offering hope of forgiveness, the sick and offering healing, the outcast offering the friendship of God, the homeless offering hope of mansions in glory, etc….