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Summary: Jesus is the reason for the season...and the reason He came was to give us eternal life.

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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.


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