Summary: Here's a sermon to preach after Christmas about King Herod and the people in the world today who try to stamp out Christianity.
There Are Too Many Scrooges In Our World Today
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,
2saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.' "
7Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from
them what time the star appeared.
8And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the
young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I
may come and worship Him also."
9When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they
had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the
young Child was.
10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
11And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with
His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened
their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to
Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
13Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
14When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,
15and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."
16Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
In preparing myself for Christmas,
I watched the movie "A Christmas Carol".
It is based on Charles Dickens' book "A Christmas Carol".
The main character is Ebenezer Scrooge,
whose life is all about making money.
He has no use for religion or Christmas activities.
As I watched the movie,
it became clear to me that Scrooge
is like many Bible characters.
King Herod is the original Ebenezer Scrooge.
Herod commands the wise men to return to him
and report to him where the Christ was to born,
so that he could go and worship him also.
The wise men are smart enough to see through this nonsense.
They knew Herod's reputation.
He had killed his wife and 2 of his sons
because they threatened his power.
They knew he didn't want to worship this child.
They knew Herod would kill Him.
Scrooges like Herod can be found even today.
They are the people
who try to remove Jesus from nativity scenes at the courthouse,
and other public places.
They are the ones
who try to get Jesus banned from our public schools.
They are the one who go around saying Happy Holidays
instead of Merry Christmas.
One Christmas Eve, Scrooge receives a terrifying wake-up call.
The spirit of his business partner, Jacob Marley,
who died 7 years before on Christmas Eve
comes to visit Scrooge.
Marley had been a penny pincher much like Scrooge.
He comes to visit, bound and wrapped in terrible chains.
Marley has been condemned to roam the face of the earth,
tormented in death by the things he neglected to value in life.
He reminds me of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
found in Luke chapter 16.
Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' 25But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' 27Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'