Summary: "We win; we win; Hallelujah we win; I read the back of the book and we win!”
“WHEN JESUS COMES: JUBILATION”
(Advent 2010, Week #4)
Sermon Objective: “We win; we win; Hallelujah we win; I read the back of the book and we win!”
As the children leave for Children’s Church it reminds me that their Christmas pageant is this evening. They will be acting out the nativity story for us.
‘Tis the season ya know … so this morning we are going to read the Christmas story together, but not out of Matthew or Luke. The Apostle John also recorded the Christmas story but not in his Gospel. He did it in Revelation 12; particularly verses 1-12 but we will read the entire chapter together.
1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
12Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Wow! How’s that for a version of the Christmas story!? I heard this week that Hollywood has not made a new Christmas movie in 2 years and that they have none on the schedule for the near future. The reason is that they have run out of new ideas to talk about Santa.
Well, maybe Hollywood should read Revelation 12. It’s not about Santa however; it’s about the Christ child. I refer to this as the “R” rated version of the Christmas story. I would give it an “R” rating due to adult themes and graphic violence.
I wonder what it would look like if our children acted out this version of the Christmas story for us tonight? One thing’s for sure … they’d have everyone’s attention and we’d be thinking of the story afresh afterwards.
John’s version of the Christmas story encompasses far more than just the birth of the “One who would rule the nations.” It is pre-Christmas and post-Christmas as well. We will look at this chapter in more detail in coming weeks but today, the final week of Advent, we will see another common event that accompanies the coming of Jesus --- JUBILATION.