Summary: The Christmas story is filled with the paradoxes. This sermon examines four of them, and closes with the greatest paradox of all, that Christ would come to earth, live a sinless life and die for our sins, and people would still reject Christ.
The Paradoxes of Christmas
November 29, 2015
A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This sermon is based on D. Greg Ebie’s sermon “Christmas Paradox” found on SermonCentral.com.
TEXT: Colossians 2:9 – “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
Reading: “The Nativity”
As helpless as He was He deserved more privacy. Yet they gathered and stared, not completely understanding what they saw—just that they had to see….
Mary was tired and sore and a little sick. But she had heard the heralding angel and knew they would come, that they had to come to see this small life that had been holy conceived inside her. She did what she could to tidy the dusty stall, putting fresh hay in the manger and carefully wrapping the Child. There was no more time to be done. She smiled bravely, trying to look her best, trying to collect her thoughts, and slow her racing heart.
Joseph stood beside his beloved young wife, uncertain how to act, how to stand. He was a father, yet not a father. He was proud of his brave Mary, and awed by this birth. Just moments before she had been wracked by the shrieking pains of labor. And above her screams and sobs, he could have sworn he heard singing. Voices sweet like only voices of angels could be.
Then the Child’s first grasping cries crashing against the impinging darkness. He wasn’t sure he would ever understand what was taking place, and not sure he wanted to. Shifting his weight, he stood silent, his brow creased in thought watching the gathering people . . .
The shepherds, gesturing from stall to sky, began talking in quick excited words about what they had seen and heard in the hills. How night turned to noon, and of angel choirs and the Child found just as was promised, small, red, and wrinkled, sleeping next to cattle and chickens…
It was all too amazing. Yet He lay quietly dozing, having just been fed, not totally unaware of the world, but not more so than any other newborn. He deserved more privacy. But they would never leave Him alone. Always they would come to Him, time after time, to adore and obey, or to mock and kill, as the paradox of Christmas began burning in their hearts.
—Source: Stephen R. Clark (Pentecostal Evangel; December 25, 1994)
Christmas is a paradox; or more precisely, a series of paradoxes. The Christmas story is filled with the unexpected—the unimaginable. And Christ was born amidst these paradoxes. For a few moments let’s think about the paradoxes of Christmas.
I. FIRST, CONSIDER WITH ME THE PARADOX OF THE PRESENTS
Isn’t it amazing that as we celebrate Jesus’ birthday you and I are the ones who get all the presents?
If we aren’t careful, Christmas day can quickly come and go and all we think about are our gifts instead of pausing to remember JESUS—the REAL gift of Christmas.
Christmas is not about PRESENTS; Christmas is about Christ’s PRESENCE—His presence with us on this earth, one of the most remarkable and unlikely truths in history.
His presence with us on this earth is one of the most remarkable and unlikely truths in history.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus didn’t come into the world to receive presents from us but to GIVE! Jesus is the greatest gift of all. Jesus is “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.” Christ’s presence is worth far more than the value of all our presents combined.
This theme is one of the most powerful ones that resonates at Christmas perhaps like at no other time of the year. The song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is so relatable to us because at Christmas a gift would be great from someone we love, but to have the PRESENCE OF THE GIVER is all the more wonderful.
There’s a country song that talks about all the gifts the kids want from Mom for Christmas, though she is away from them at Christmas. The chorus goes like this:
Just put a ribbon in your hair, darlin’
You’ll be the best gift anywhere
There’s no worldly treasure
I’d like any better, than you standin’ there
Just put a ribbon in your hair
The presence of the giver is always more important than the gift. Christmas is about God’s PRESENCE with us on earth in the form of a man.
II. NEXT, THINK ABOUT THE PARADOX OF THE PLACE – Isaiah 9:6-7 – “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”