Summary: A reminder of and a discovery of the true meaning of Christmas.
INTRODUCTION: A little boy drew a manger scene in his Sunday School class. When he was done he showed the teacher what he had drawn. There was Mary and Joseph, and baby Jesus, and the animals, and the shepherds, and a chubby boy sitting by the baby Jesus. The teacher asked, "who is this chubby boy in your manger scene?", He replied, "thats round John Virgin". Just as the little boy had a distorted perception of that Christmas Hymn, many have a distorted view of Christmas. We live in what has been called by many theologians "the post Christian era". The influence of Christianity is rapidly being dilluted in our culture. Institutions and Holidays that were once sacred have now lost most if not all of their religious significance. The average person on the street in our major cities does not know the true origins of Christmas. The truth of the matter is, even those of us that do know the true meaning of Christmas tend to forget it amidst all of the shopping, and gift giving, and family,and meals. So this morning I want to remind us of what Christmas is really all about.
Galatians chapter 4:4-7 is a Christmas text. The Galatians also needed a reminder about the significance and meaning of Christmas. They were turning from the Gospel of the grace of God to the bondage of the law. Paul wrote these words to remind them of the significance of what Christ had done for them when he came to the earth.
(READ Gal. 4:4-7)
What is Christmas really all about?
I. ITS ABOUT THE ADVENT OF A SAVIOUR (4)
Christmas is a celebration of the most important day in human history, The day that Christ came to earth. In this verse we see some very important things about Christ and his coming to earth.
a) First we see his Divine Origin---there was an event that took place before the birth of Christ in the manger, even before the conception of Christ in the womb of the virgin. It was the sending forth of Christ from God the Father. The bible says, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son". You see Jesus had always existed with the Father. John says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." As a man Jesus prayed to the Father, "glorify me with thine own self with the glory I had with thee before the World was." Jesus had always existed in perfect loving fellowship with God the Father. One day, God sent him forth.
The bible doesn’t describe this event except to demonstrate to us that Jesus made a conscious choice to be sent. In Philippians 2 it says, "he did not consider equality with God something to be grapsed, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness." In love for humanity the Father sent the Son, in love for the Father and humanity Jesus willingly went.
When I was a young Father, my oldest boy was about a year old, Linda and I had been trying to make it. I was going to school full time making minimum wage. Something had to be done or we wouldn’t make it. I had to join the military. I’ll never forget the day that I was sent off, for the first time leaving my Son and my wife. I remember sitting on the curb outside of the Days Inn Motel in San Antonio before dawn broke waiting for a bus to take me to the processing station. I remember the lonely feeling, the homesick feeling, and I hadn’t even left yet, kissing my wife and my child good bye.
We can only imagine what took place when Jesus was sent forth. He willingly and obediently and lovingly left a place of glory and sinlessness, and ceaseless worship, and perfection, and unbroken fellowship with the Father and entered into the womb of a teenage girl. He became a frail human, an embryo a fetus, and unborn babe. From the bossom of the Father to the womb of a teenage girl. I don’t believe it is possible for us to grasp this. Words fail here tremendously. All the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in a human embryo. Oh how Jesus limited himself to time and space. Oh how he condescended in love. This is his divine origin. Next we see
b)His full humanity---"made of a woman"--The previous statement "God sent forth His Son" could be said of no other man in the history of the world. The next statement, "made of a woman" is true of all men. While Jesus was fully divine in origin, he was likewise fully human. He entered the world just as you and I entered the world. He was born of a woman. He was a man. He was Mary’s son. He hungered, and thirsted, and ate, and drank, and worked, and played, and laughed, and wept, and hurt, and bled, and studied, and sang, and prayed, and lived, and died as a man.