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Summary: There are many mysteries surrounding the Christmas story, but to me the greatest mystery may be why Jesus was laid in a manger. This sermon show that the manger show the REJECTION of Christ, His REDEMPTION and His REACHABLENESS.

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The Mystery of the Manger

Chuck Sligh

December 7, 2014

TEXT: Luke 2:1-7 – “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

INTRODUCTION

A big mystery of Christmas is how kids manage to mangle the words of Christmas songs.

Illus. – On another occasion, after Johnnie, who had a little sister named Olive, asked for a candy snack, his mom said, “I’ll give you one if you can name two of Santa’s reindeer.”

He said, “Well, there’s Rudolf…” and then he drew a blank.

Suddenly he shouted, “Oh, I know! The other reindeer’s name is OLIVE!”

“Olive?” his mom said. “What makes you think one was named after your sister?”

“You know,” he said, and he began to sing, “’Olive,’ the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names...”

Even adults encounter some mysteries at Christmas.

Illus. – In a small Southern town there was a beautifully crafted nativity scene. A Northerner passing by stopped to see it, but was mystified when he saw that the three wise men were all wearing firemen’s helmets. Unable to conceive of any reasonable explanation, he finally left in bewilderment.

Stopping at a Quick Stop on the edge of town, he asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets.

She said, “Why, you Yankees never read the Bible, do you?”

The Northerner happened to be a pastor, so he said, “I don’t know about other Northerners, but I assure you that I do indeed read my Bible every day and I certainly don’t recall anything about FIREMEN in the Bible!”

With all seriousness, she looked condescendingly at the Northerner and said, “Sir, it says right there in the Good Book, ‘the three wise men came from afar.’”

Ah…the mysteries of Christmas.

The first Christmas night, when Jesus was born, was a night of many mysteries—real mysteries, but the humorous kind I’ve been joking about.

Think about it:

• A mysterious star in the sky never seen before.

• Mysterious visitors from the East following that star.

• Mysterious visitations of angels.

• Mysterious dreams and visions.

• The mystery of a pregnant woman who had never been with a man!

• And the greatest mystery of all—the Incarnation: that God would come to this earth as a human to suffer and die and bear the sins of those who despised and rejected him!


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