Summary: This is a sermon for Christmas that is based on Luke 2 and explores the question of whether we still realise we need saving today. Peace with who? Salvation from what?
The message of Christmas
Christmas Day Sermon Wendy Gravolin.
On Monday night I was listening to the news when I heard that all of the hotels in Bethlehem are booked out.
This made me wonder what it would be like if Jesus was born in December 2008 and what it would have been like if a human being had arranged for the birth?
Can you imagine?
Perhaps the nightly news might have sounded something like this:
News broadcast December 25 2008
A child destined to save the world and bring peace was born today to a wealthy heiress and her royal husband in a palace in one of the worlds most stable nations.
A world class birthing facility was purpose built for the occasion and staffed by top obstetricians, midwives and chefs who were flown in from the world’s best hospitals 8 months ago to ensure the safety of the delivery.
Fireworks and the Royal Philharmonic orchestra announced the special occasion to a gathering of the worlds rich and famous, including the Queen of England, the president of America and leaders of other G8 nations.
Photos of the event are expected to sell for trillions of dollars.
High tech security and guards surrounded the palace keeping all the paparazzi and other undesirables away.
Specially trained personal body guards have been appointed to the new prince ensuring that no harm will ever come to him.
Reports have come to hand that at one stage a group of smelly shepherds tried to approach the palace but were arrested and are now being questioned by the palace staff to see what terrorist cell is behind them.
At this point no group has claimed responsibility.
Stay with us we have reporters on the ground and we will be bringing you further updates on this situation as news comes to hand.
But that’s not at all what it was really like, even though God could have arranged it that way he didn’t.
The son of God the one destined by God to bring salvation and peace was born to a virgin in a stable, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Mary had no cradle so she put him in an animals feed trough.
Angels announced his birth to shepherds; some of the poorest most despised members of society and invited them to the after party.
The shepherds must be the most unlikely recipients of a heavenly message and invitation imaginable. Shepherds were so despised in first century Israel that their testimony was unacceptable in their legal system.
The story of the first Christmas recorded for us in Luke’s gospel is a story with so many fascinating twists.
And can you imagine what it would have been like to be one of these shepherds?
Now shepherds aren’t the fainthearted kind, they regularly slept out in the cold and dark and even fought off predators including wolves and lions sometimes with very few weapons.
So there they are one dark night sitting watching their sheep, keeping them safe from nocturnal predators.
When suddenly an extra terrestrial being appears lighting up the sky in front of them and these big brave shepherds were terrified!