Summary: In the Christmas Story we read of God’s grace--God’s power and love--revealed not only in the birth, but in the historical setting and the struggles of Mary and Joseph
Luke 2:1-14 “The Miracle of Grace”
The story of Jesus’ birth is perhaps one of the most well-known and recognized stories in the world. In this tale of God’s gift of his son to all humankind, we hear the good news of God’s love and see the ultimate expression of God’s grace. Grace—God’s love and power made known in our lives and in our world.
God’s grace is woven into every fiber of this story.
GRACE IN HISTORY
A decree went out from Caesar Augustus. The story of God’s grace is set in historical reality. Because of the Emperor’s wishes, Joseph and Mary were forced to travel to Bethlehem. God was using Caesar, the Roman craving for money, and the lives of a young couple to accomplish God’s purpose.
God’s grace is not only contained in history, it is expressed in the everyday events of our lives. 2005 is drawing to a close and we have walked another year with Jesus. Our year has included struggles, hardships, love, laughter, joy, and celebration. There have been times when we have felt extremely close to God and other times when God has seemed to be at the other end of the universe. In all of these circumstances God has been with us. God’s love and power have been a part of our lives.
We look back on our lives and we see God’s hand.
¨ God moved and brought us into contact with people to befriend us and encourage us.
¨ God moved and opened new opportunities for us to serve God and make and impact on other’s lives.
¨ God moved and gathered us together into the family of faith called Desert Streams Church.
¨ God led us, nudged us, opened and closed doors, and guided us to accomplish God’s will and move toward the full establishment of God’s kingdom with the return of Jesus.
GRACE IN INCONVENIENCE
John the Baptist might have prepared the way for Jesus, but the detail person forgot to show up—at least that’s how it appears in the story. For as great an event as the birth of God, a person would think that more of the details would have been covered.
¨ The timing was off, however. Mary was forced to travel when she was almost full term—a most inconvenient time.
¨ Room reservations were not made—or the computer lost them, so there was no room at the inn.
¨ Accommodations were sparse and the actual birth did not take place in the most sanitary of conditions.
I wonder if Mary questioned in her mind what God was up to. Surely she must have assumed that the Mother of God would receive better treatment than to be turned away from the inn and left to shiver in the cold, cruel world.
Still, God was with Mary and Joseph. God’s grace--his love and power--was sustaining them. God was moving even in the struggles and inconveniences of life to accomplish God’s purpose.
This little lesson is an important one for us to remember as we go about our daily lives. God’s grace is a reality in the difficulties of our lives as much as it is in the comfortable times of our lives.
GRACE IN NEW LIFE
God’s grace isn’t hidden throughout the story of Jesus’ birth. In the birth itself, God’s love and power are revealed beyond a doubt.
For God so loved the world—Jesus is born.
God’s love and power are made known to all people, rich and poor, kings and shepherds, Gentiles and Jews.
Something new started when Jesus was born. God’s love and power were expressed in different, more direct ways. God’s love and power transformed the world.
This is Jesus’ birthday celebration. We celebrate the grace of God that is revealed in that birth so long ago.
We celebrate more, though. We also celebrate the grace—the love and power—of God who has promised to love us overwhelmingly and steadfastly.