Summary: Jesus is the reason for the season...and the reason He came was to give us eternal life.
THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS
LUKE 2:7; 21:27
Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard tells the following story: Once there was a king who was very rich. His power was known throughout the world. But he was not happy because he wanted a wife. Without a queen, his vast palace was empty.
One day, while riding through the streets of a small village, he saw a beautiful peasant girl. She was so lovely that his heart was won. He wanted her more than anything he had ever desired. For many days he would ride by her house on the hope of seeing her for just a moment in passing.
He wondered how he might win her love. He thought, "I will draw up a royal decree and require her to be brought before me to become the queen of my land." But, as he considered, he realized that she was a subject and would be forced to obey. He could never be certain that he had won her love.
Then he said to himself, "I'll call on her in person. I'll dress in my finest royal clothes...wear my diamond rings...my silver sword...my shiny black boots, and my most colorful tunic. I'll overwhelm her and sweep her off her feet to become my bride." But as he thought about this idea, he knew that he would always wonder if she had married him for the riches and power he could give her.
Then, he decided to dress like a peasant, drive to the town, and have his carriage let him off. In disguise, he would approach her house. But somehow, even this plan didn't appeal to him. But at last he knew what he had to do.
He'd shed his royal robes...go to the village and become one of the peasants. He would work and suffer with them. He would actually become a peasant. And that is what he did. And he won his wife. This plot has been played out in numerous movies and stories...but the heart of this tale has much in common with the Christmas story.
It's a great illustration of how God sought to win the world. He sent His Son to earth as a lowly baby born to a common ordinary couple. He laid aside His royal robes and became one of us. And He did win His bride...the church.
And yet there are some very distinct and wonderful differences...because even though Christ set aside His royal robes and His majesty to become one of us...this great event in history was not done on the sly...it was heralded by the hosts of heaven. On that special night multitudes of angels burst into chorus and announced, "Hey everybody...a baby is born!"
I have absolutely no evidence to support it...but I can't help but think that the angels were actually singing the Hallelujah chorus. Handel was inspired to write it many years later but I have a hunch his inspiration came from a song the angels had already sung.
But not everyone heard that angelic choir that night...just a few shepherds on the side of a hill. In fact, not everyone even noticed a new star in the East...hung there by a proud Father announcing the birth of His Son...the Newborn King. Only a few Wise Men from the East saw its brilliance and followed its path.
Though Jesus claimed to be the light of the world, not every eye was open to receiving the glorious light of the Son of God. Some were blinded by their own religious forms and ideas....many were simply absorbed in the most basic reality of life with their eyes focused on just being able to make a living in a difficult world.
But things are surely different today, Right? We have the benefit of hindsight and the New Testament to tell us all about this great event and what it means to each of us. And as we look around our homes...our church...our community...it's clear that America is ready for Christmas.
The decorations are all up...the presents bought...the caroling completed. In just a matter of hours we'll be set to celebrate the Lord's coming as a babe in a manger. And it's great to look back and celebrate one of the greatest events in the history of mankind. We enjoy hearing the familiar passages that tell of coming of the Christ child.
But this morning I want to be a little non traditional and go beyond what would be normal for a Christmas Eve sermon. I want to look today at the gospel of Luke...because Luke not only gives us one of the most familiar passages concerning the coming of the baby in a manger...but he also speaks of an event where Christ would make an another appearance here on earth.
In Luke 2:7 he speaks of the first advent...READ v.1 7 But it was also under the same inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Luke penned the words about Jesus' next coming...Read 21:27