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Summary: This Christmas message compares the swaddling clothes to the burial lineans of Christ.

Clothes Make A Man

Luke 2 (quickview) .7; 23.53; 24.12

Stand Alone Christmas Sermon

December 19, 2004

FBC Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker

Introduction:

(Prior to worship, you’ll need one-inch strips of fabric, baby powder, & a box. Prior to beginning the message/service place the strips of cloth into a box. I suggest sprinkle baby powder over them just as service starts. As your listeners enter the sanctuary, ask them each to take one of the strips.)* Innovative Worship: 95 Easy Worship-Enhancing Ideas: (Loveland, CO: Vital Ministry) 1999, p 91.

A "Hold up your piece of fabric to your face and feel its softness." (Pause)

Smell it, think about the memories that its touch and smell bring to you.

a It’s amazing to think that God almighty came into the world as a tiny baby – weak, vulnerable, and dependent on a human mom & dad.

What would it have been like to feed Jesus? Rock Jesus to sleep in you arms? Watch Jesus as he slept?

I want to challenge you to hold this human image of Jesus in your minds and continue to feel and smell the fabric throughout this message.

b From the pages of the Old Testament, Baby Moses comes drifting down the Nile in a wicker basket. The ancient word tells us that God used that baby to bring the law.

Today, we see that God used a baby in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes to bring what the law could not . . . grace.

John 1 (quickview) .17 "For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ." (NASB)

*At the same time your remembering the babe in a manger, think of the God on the throne in power, strength, and sovereignty.

B Dr. Luke used two pieces of cloth to bridge the cradle to the cross. (ETS)

a 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (quickview)  (NASB)

53 And he took it (the body of Christ) down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. Luke 23:53 (quickview)  (NASB)

12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. Luke 24:12 (quickview)  (NASB)

b God’s greatest gift to humankind has been unwrapped.(ESS)

C I hope you’ll allow the significance of the two unwrapped pieces of cloth to change your life. (Objective)

a How are the clothes of Christ changing your life? (Probing Question)

b Let’s look at two pieces of cloth that changed the entire landscape of humanity. (Transitional Sentence)

I The first piece of cloth that changed humanity were swaddling clothes.

7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (quickview)  (NASB)

A The swaddling clothes that Jesus was wrapped in were perhaps the most normal part of the nativity. (Nothing normal about an Obstetrics wing being in a stable, Cattle trough doubling as a crib, virgin giving birth, or shepherds waiting in the lobby to see a new born)


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