Summary: A world without Christmas would mean a world without God, law, and hope, but Christ came to give us all three
Luke 2:8-14 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Romans 7:25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! …
Romans 8:1-4 …there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Christmas day is already a memory. The gifts have been opened; the ham has been devoured along with all the accoutrements of a family Christmas meal. If you were in our home, traditional British Christmas crackers were pulled spilling out trinkets you never knew you wanted, and paper hats that are absolutely de rigueur .
Christmas day is already a memory. The family you were so much looking forward to seeing will soon be departing; for some, a sigh of regret, for others, a sigh of relief! Fun and laughter, the look on children’s faces as they open their gifts.
These are the memories we carry with us, but you know, we so often take Christmas so much for granted. It comes around once a year, too soon for many! We are caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, decorations, and trimming the tree; lights up around the house; cards to mail and gifts to buy…and wrap. Family and friends; office and church parties; carolers at the door.
We watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or Irvin Berlin’s “White Christmas,” and perhaps the Muppet version of “A Christmas Carol.” Did you watch “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Its message has something to say to us this morning.
We celebrate the Christ Child, the babe in the manger; the heavenly choir of angels; the shepherds; and the wise men with their precious gifts.
It is all so traditional, so familiar, and often—so routine. We know the carols and sing them joyfully. But deep down, we are often relieved that Christmas is over. We long to “get back to normal.”
However, this morning I would like us to ponder for a few minutes what this “normal” is that we so long to get back to, and more importantly, how different this “normal” would be if the world knew nothing of celebrating Christmas.
C.S. Lewis, in the second of the Narnia Series , The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, had the heroes and heroines of his novel strep through the back of a wardrobe into a world where the White Witch holds the land enthralled so that it was “forever winter but never Christmas.”
I suggest to you that if you were to step out of your front door on Monday to get on with your “normal” life, into a world where Christmas was unknown, you would, like Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter, be stepping into a world that, however externally familiar, would be as dramatically different as the one they encountered. Instead of a white witch, talking animals and deeds of “daring do,” you would step into a world of barbarity and misery, a society gripped by fear and chaos, and rather than get into your car to drive to the office, you would most likely be hitching up the oxen to plough someone else’s land.
This morning I would like us to consider what the world would be like if Christ had not been born, and what the implications of His coming are for us this morning.
In one sense, it is unfair to ask us to consider this, like asking you to imagine a world without language, because the very thought process needed to answer the question presupposes the existence of what is in question (fallacy of begging the question).