Too Familiar With Christmas
by Cliff Guy
The Month of December there will be more over a billion people who will be celebrating Christmas. Amid the candle lights, carols and the smells of cedar and pine, the old story will unfold again: Gabriel’s visitations, the long journey to Bethlehem, the arrival of the baby Jesus in a stable, the glorious announcement to the shepherds in the night, the star in the East, the mission of the Magi. The story is all too familiar, and in a world of great religious diversity where there is great doubt and disbelief about all things biblical, it is not doubt or disbelief that you and I who have gathered here must typically guard against. The danger we face each year and every year is simply familiarity: knowing the Christmas story all so well, so well in fact that we miss its wonder.
Couple weeks ago I preached on the Holiday Stress, where we get so wrapped up with the cooking and baking, shopping for gifts and fighting the crowds our nerves getting worn where we may sometime snap at family members, I told you then about Jesus visiting Martha and Mary. (Luke 10:38-42) Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. We see Martha is busy out in the Kitchen rushing around trying prepare special meals I mean It’s not every day you have Jesus sitting in your living room at least in those days, now its common practice for those of us who are born again Christians, because his spirit lives in us so He is with us all the time.
Well Martha was getting upset because her sister was with Jesus making her do all the work (V-40a) so she ask Jesus to tell Mary to help her (V-40b) But Jesus told Martha that Mary was doing the right thing she was spending time with Jesus (V-42) That brings us to today’s sermon on about us getting to familiar with Christmas, we are forgetting what the day is all about. Mark Twain once said that familiarity breeds contempt. . In the beginning we sought-after the presence of the Lord, but now today we may be taking it for granted. Early on we were awed by Him, but today perhaps we are not so amazed, I mean His visits become more routine, more ordinary, and more commonplace.
Our Christmas songs become a habit. When we read the Bible it becomes dry and old. We have read or heard it all before, and the birth of Christ? The wonder and excitement is gone.This morning I want us to visit Luke 2:1-21, then I want to show you that the birth of Christ resulted in three things at least. Jesus birth resulted in Glory.
Jesus birth was glorious in its fulfillment. Daniel had foretold about when Jesus would be born. Isaiah said that a virgin would conceive. Prophet Micah had told us where He would be born, and Jeremiah had foretold of the killing of all the innocent babies. The life of Jesus is itself is an amazing testament to God’s glory in that over and over God put His name on the line by giving everyone the exact details about the life of Jesus. God is the only one who can say what will happen tomorrow with exactness. God is glorious enough to see tomorrow just as clearly as He sees yesterday and today!
Jesus birth was so glorious in its wonder. The whole story of the incarnation is full of wonder. The entire Old Testament is the story of God how prepared a body for Jesus. The virgin birth is a wonder. That the King of kings would be born in a stable with donkeys and cows is a wonder. That He would be laid and nursed in a manger is a wonder when we think of all the wonders surrounding the birth of Christ: the angels, the shepherds, the star of Bethlehem, the 600 mile journey of the Magi to see the Christ child.But let me tell you why I also believe Jesus birth results in glory to God. It is because you and I can experience it personally. Imagine with me the feelings experienced by these shepherds?
The angels did not appear to royalty. They did not announce the birth even to the Magi. They appeared to these shepherds, just common men who served a common purpose, but were given an uncommon experience. They were told, then they went to see. But now, while they may had special privileges to see Jesus in his infancy, they were not unique in having been given the opportunity to experience Jesus. In Verse 20 it says, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”
Jesus birth resulted in Praise. There’s no questioning that Angels were excited when the birth occurred. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator of the universe and the angels themselves had left the glories of heaven and made Himself completely defenseless as He inhabited the womb of Mary. Here is their Creator, their Lord and Master who has submitted Himself to this humble position.