Summary: Sermon 4 of 4: What would Jesus say about the way we celebrate Christmas today?
What Would Jesus Say?
The year was 1809. The international scene was looking bleak. Napoleon was sweeping through Austria; blood was flowing freely. Nobody then and there cared much about babies. But the world was overlooking some very significant births. It always has. For example, William Gladstone was born that year. He was destined to become one of England’s finest statesmen. That same year, Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. He would one day greatly affect the literary world in a remarkable way. On the American continent, Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And not far away in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe began his eventful, although tragic life. It was also in that same year that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their newborn child Charles Robert. And that same year produced the cries of a newborn infant in a rugged log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. The baby’s name? Abraham Lincoln.
If there had been news broadcasts at that time, I’m certain these words would have been heard: "The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today." But history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England and America. Similarly, everyone thought taxation and government oppression was the big news when Jesus was born. But a young Jewish woman cradled the biggest news ever known to man – the birth of the Savior! (adapted from Charles Swindoll)
I read about two women who were having lunch in an elegant hotel and were approached by a mutual friend who asked the occasion for the meal. One lady replied, "We are celebrating the birth of my baby boy!" "But where is he?" inquired the friend. "Oh," said the mother, "you didn’t think I’d bring him, did you?"
I’ll let you make the necessary inferences. Today, I want us to invite the Lord Jesus into this service and know that we are indeed about to celebrate the birth of the greatest child ever born to mankind – the Christ child.
We have already considered what Santa, what Satan, and what the angels might say if they were present with us. This morning I want us to consider for a few minutes what Christ might say if He were present among us, and here is the reality – He is! Jesus Himself said, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst." He is here today, and though I have mentioned this before, never forget that when we come into the house of God for worship, you are not the audience. You see, all that we do in corporate worship is for God – He alone is the audience in this display of worship and adoration. God alone is the recipient of glory and honor and power – and He is worthy! The idea we have is of Ron and me on stage performing for you, and the quality of his singing or my preaching determines whether it has been good or not. But I want you to broaden your vision some today. What we really have is our church on stage and God sitting alone watching. He has watched as we sang. He watched as you gave your offering. He watched as the special was sung, and He is watching now to see if I will try to please Him or you, and He watches you to see your response. Yes, God is the audience, and we are all on display.
What is it that God wants to see in us as we have come together? He wants to see how we will respond to the message His Son will bring to us. You see, Christ has a message for us not just today, but every Sunday! What would Jesus say if He were with us today? How would He address the events of His birth? The view we get is most often through human eyes – the eyes of the shepherds or the wise men or Joseph or Mary, but what about through the eyes of God? Is there anything in the Scriptures that helps us to see the Christmas account from heaven’s perspective? Let’s look to Revelation 12:1-5 as we consider this morning what Jesus might say about His birth to each of us.
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."