Summary: Specifically we’re going to take a look at the process that Jesus went through for us because there are certainly elements of His coming that don’t sound quite right.
Have you ever received a Christmas present that you didn’t really like? Here’s what you should say if you get a gift that underwhelms you.
* Hey! There’s a gift!
* Well, well, well…
* This is perfect for wearing around the basement.
* To think…I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.
* I really don’t deserve this.
I get a kick out of what kids say around Christmas time. Here are some actual letters that children have written to the Lord.
* Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now.
* God, I read the Bible. What does beget mean? Nobody will tell me.
* Dear God, in Bible times, did they really talk that fancy?
* Dear God, my brother told me about how you were born but it just doesn’t sound right. What do you say?
Tonight we want to take a look at the gift we should never want to return because the presence of Christ is a present we don’t really deserve. Specifically we’re going to take a look at the process that Jesus went through for us because there are certainly elements of His coming that don’t sound quite right. In order to help us grasp the mystery of Christmas we’re going to approach our study from a slightly different angle. The story has become so common to us that we’re in danger of missing the marvel of what really happened. On top of that, our culture has packaged the season with clutter and chaos and confusion and wrapped it all in the colors of commercialism.
Instead of looking at the familiar story through the perspective of the shepherds or Mary and Joseph, or the innkeeper, or the wise men, or even the Old Testament prophets, we’re going to look past this scenery in order to see Christmas from the perspective of Christ Himself. Specifically, we’re going to focus on a series of demotions that He took. We could call them His steps to downward mobility. Philippians 2:6-11 is perhaps the most profound statement of the Christmas story anywhere in the Word of God. F.B. Meyer has said, “It is almost unapproachable in its unexampled majesty.” This section of Scripture is really a piece of profound poetry, with some commentators suggesting that this was actually an ancient hymn.
Please listen as I read: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” We’re just going to skim the surface tonight but we’ll discover five different levels, or degrees down, that the Lord took. As we walk through this passage, we’ll illustrate each step with some Scripture from the nativity narrative and we’ll also utilize music to help us recapture the stunning wonder of Christmas.