Summary: What do we do when things begin to cover up the wonder of Christmas? This sermon uses a fictional story to capture your congregation’s attention!
When God’s Goodness is Covered Up
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
11And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary 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.
13 Now 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.
17Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18"A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more."
19But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a
dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of
Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead."
21Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the
land of Israel.
22But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his
father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a
dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.
23And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
Isn’t it wonderful how God saved Baby Jesus from Herod?
He sent the angel to Joseph in a dream
warning him that Herod would send soldiers to kill Jesus.
The warning comes just in time!
Joseph runs off to Egypt with his wife and newly born son.
Because that newborn son of Mary…
will also grow up to become the Savior of the world.
If Herod had killed Jesus…
We would still be in our sins.
There would be no “good news” to share with the world.
It amazes me how many Old Testament prophecies…
Are fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
However, one prophecy deals with a tragedy!
600 years before Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem…
Jeremiah warned there would come a day
when all the mothers of Israel would weep
because their children will be no more.
The Roman soldiers were sent into this small rural community
about the size of Bone Gap
killing all male babies under two years of age.
We witness Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus escaping to Egypt.
Jesus will not be killed.
Herod’s plan to kill this new king will fail.
Deborah was a 25 year old mother of a 6 month old little baby boy named, Jeremiah. Deborah and her husband, Samuel, a animal skin tanner in Bethlehem were happy parents. Deborah had already given birth to two daughters, and though Samuel loved his two girls more than anything in the world, Deborah knew that her husband had always wanted her to have a baby boy to keep the family name and lineage alive.
Deborah and Samuel had grown to be good friends with another young couple who lived down the street from them. Their names were Joseph and Mary. Joseph was a carpenter. Ever since their son Jesus had been born, rumors had been flying all over the small community of Bethlehem. Everybody was whispering about Mary being pregnant before she and Joseph were married. Most of the men belittled Joseph behind his back because the gossip hinted at the fact that Joseph was not even the father of this baby boy.
Deborah and Samuel were quite different from all the others. They were genuinely good people. They worshiped at the synagogue every Saturday and made regular pilgrimages up the road to Jerusalem to make sacrifices at the Temple. They did not worship for show like so many others did. Deborah and Samuel feared and loved the Lord God Almighty whom they had heard about since they were little children. This young couple felt called by God to reach out to and love Joseph and Mary especially because everybody else in Bethlehem had turned their backs on them.