Summary: Message about the mystery of the Incarnation - specifically focusing on the "Why"
The Four “M’s” of Christmas
Part 1 - The Mystery
November 30, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Me: Anybody here like a good mystery?
I like watching them on TV or the movies, and I especially like reading them. I like trying to guess who committed the crime or what’s going to happen next.
Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t.
I know at least one person here likes John Grisham novels, and also shares my love for good ole Sherlock Holmes.
I’ve read those stories I don’t know how many times, and they never get old.
I even know how they’re going to turn out, and I still love them.
There are some things in my life that I prefer to remain a mystery. Like bologna. And hot dogs. I don’t know what’s in them and I don’t want to know.
Another mystery in my life is why anyone would intentionally spend money on head cheese – which, to me, doesn’t even look like cheese.
We: There are mysteries all around us.
As much as technology continues to advance, and at a greater and greater pace, there is still much to learn.
Mystery is part of life. And in my opinion, it’s part of what makes life enjoyable. If we could understand everything in life, it would be kinda boring, wouldn’t it?
At Christmas time, we think about the mystery that surrounds a divine baby who set into motion the salvation that God had promised from the very beginning of the world.
God: Today I want to talk about the mystery of Christmas.
A mystery, by definition is something that is beyond explanation or comprehension.
And that is the case with the mystery of Christmas.
We can read about it in Scripture, we can study it, and do everything we can to try and wrap our brains around it, but we can’t truly grasp it.
But does that mean we shouldn’t look into it or try to understand it as much as we can?
Many people look at a mystery, and because they can’t figure it out, they mistakenly assume that it cannot be true.
But just as with my bologna and hot dogs, not understanding doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
My hope is that as we look at the mystery of Christmas, it will draw you to a greater awe of God and what He’s done for you.
The passage we’re going to look at today is John 1:1-14 (p. 750) –
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
And here’s where I want to focus during our time today:
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The mystery I want us to explore a bit today is this:
God took on human flesh.
God Himself became a man.
Not just a man. He was still God. But also fully man. In every way except sin.
The fancy word we use for this amazing act is “incarnation.”
The Christmas accounts in the gospels of Matthew and Luke both tell us that the Holy Spirit caused a young virgin to become pregnant with the Son of God.
And you know what? I don’t totally get how that’s possible. I don’t understand the mix of the natural biology of Mary and the supernatural acting of the Holy Spirit. I don’t get the mechanics of how God made that happen.