Summary: Part 2 of this Christmas series
The Four “M’s” of Christmas
Part 2 - The Majesty
December 7, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE.
Me: One of the things I find this time of year is that not only does the time go faster between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and not only do the days get shorter, and temps get colder, but also that I find myself under a whole lot more pressure.
I’ve got Christmas presents to buy, Christmas sermons to write, a Christmas tree to watch my family put up, and all sorts of stuff.
And in the midst of all that, it’s very hard for me to sit back and just reflect on Christmas.
I’m so busy doing Christmas that I don’t have the time to really appreciate everything about it.
And one of the things that I find myself really working hard to reflect on during this particular Christmas season is the majesty of Christmas.
The prophets of old said that the King of the Jews would come to earth. And they weren’t talking about King David or King Solomon.
They were talking about Jesus.
We: Here in America I think that we have a lesser appreciation for majesty.
We don’t have a king or queen who lives in a huge palace and wears splendid robes, and is addressed as “Your Majesty.”
So we go through life and go through Christmas with what I believe to maybe be a deficient idea of what majesty is all about.
Scripture describes the majesty of God in a number of places, but I wonder if we really get it.
I don’t think I get it.
When it comes to Christmas, majesty seems to get lost in the smells of the stable where Jesus was born.
Kings aren’t born in stables – they’re born in palaces, right?
Usually. But God chose unusual place for His Son to be born.
Yet there is a majesty to it. And my hope is that when you leave today, you’ll have a deeper appreciation of it for yourself, just as God is giving me a deeper appreciation for it.
God: Our passage for today is one of the more familiar passages that are traditionally looked at during the Christmas season.
Just a head’s up before I begin reading this passage: the first blanks in your note-taking guide happen right at the beginning, okay?
Matthew 2:1-11 (pp. 681-682) –
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "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."
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6 "’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’"
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
This Scripture passage is a bit longer than we usually look at, and that’s okay.
This message I’m giving today is a bit shorter than I usually give. And that’s okay, too, right?
Because we’re sharing in communion this morning, I wanted to keep my remarks sort of brief. I didn’t want us to rush through that sacred time around the Lord’s table.
Let me summarize this very quickly: three pagan guys from a place we don’t know, know enough about the Jewish Scriptures to know that a King would be born. And they’ve come to worship Him.