Sermons

Summary: Short Christmas Eve Sermonette, Part of the Candlelighting

CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT DEVOTION

DECEMBER 24, 2013

500PM & 700PM

The Christmas Story is absolutely absurd.

As the Christmas Story begins, we find the writers Matthew and Luke describing that a baby would be born through the Holy Spirit to a virgin named Mary. That is impossible and yet Luke 1:37 tells us plainly, “nothing is impossible with God." We find a little way into the story that Mary visits her relative and something significant happens which confirms that something was going on inside this young woman. Luke 1:41-42 says, “When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” We are told from these two writers that of all the women among all the people of God that this one woman was chosen to bear this special Child.

And what about this special Child? The Christmas Story less about the mother and mostly about this Child that was born. We find the writers Matthew, Luke, and John all agree that this Child was no ordinary Child. Matthew 1:23 nicknames Him “God With Us.” Luke 1:32 nicknames Him “Son of the Most High.” John 1:14 describes this Child as God in the Flesh. So, this Child born to a virgin is not only going to be a normal human being, but also God in the Flesh.

What a strange notion that God would insert Himself into life here on Earth!

What is the purpose of that? What would be the point? What would be the reason?

What in the world is broken so badly that God would have to come down here and fix it Himself?

The Christmas Story is absolutely absurd.

To be honest, the strangeness continues as we learn about the birth itself. Given what we already know about this Child, should we not expect parades or fireworks or an alignment in the Heavens like no one had ever seen? The story does not contain parades or fireworks but does contain a star which marked where the Child was… Matthew 2:2 shares with us travelers said, “Where is the One who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." And yet, the Baby was not born in a hospital or a palace or a home of any kind, but in a barn. Luke 2:6-7 says, “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” So, we have a Child born who is God on Earth with His Birth marked in the Heavens, but He is born in a barn because no one had room for He and His family.

Seriously?

The announcement of the Birth is also puzzling. Luke describes Angels announcing the Birth of the Baby by saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests" (Luke 2:14). Who do these Angels announce this to? Kings? Governors? Millionares? Nope. Stinky shepherds. And it is these blue collar workers who attend the birth of this Child who is unlike any other born ever. No kings. No real fanfare. Just shepherds.

The Christmas Story is absolutely absurd.

The aftermath of this Child’s Birth is also a twist that we did not see coming. Usually there are family celebrations where people comment about how the head is shaped like a cone or how cute the cheeks are or how the Baby smells. For this family, there are prophets who speak words over the Child such as, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel" (Luke 2:30-32). Who says that about a Baby? Who says about a Baby that they are “Salvation from God?” Very odd. Not only are the comments different about this child, but murder comes into play. As travelers come to find this Child, the king of the land is jealous and Matthew describes for us in 2:16, “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.” Death comes because of this Child.

The Christmas Story is absolutely absurd.

The Christmas Story is only absurd until we realize that the Child was born to bring light into the world.

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