December 25, 2011
Pastor Andrew Kikkert of Sunrise Church, presented a wonderful Christmas morning sermon “What is the True Meaning of Christmas” to the combined congregations of Sunrise Church and Westminster. The sermon was prefaced with a poignant youtube video, “If Joseph and Mary had Facebook”, by Igniter Media.
Word On Worship – December 25, 2011
“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.”
Only a few verses describe the events surrounding the birth of Christ while several chapters of each of the gospels are devoted to the arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. An excellent principle to follow in our own study of Scripture is the principle of proportion. God devotes the more time and space to what is more important for His people to understand. Based on this simple principle we can reason the death of Christ is more important to the writers of the gospels than His birth. Yes Christ had to take on human flesh, but it is His atoning work on the cross of Calvary that saves us.
So why is the Christmas story so important to us today? Even those who do not believe in Christ for salvation acknowledge the wonder of Christmas. My sense is that the babe in the manger is far less threatening than the Christ who interprets and applies the Law, who condemns sin and speaks of faith in His blood. The babe in the manger is controllable. The baby in the manger is sweet, someone we can comfortably approach. The baby in the manger is “God in a box” and God on our terms is a God we can worship.
The Christ who hangs on a cross is not a pretty picture, is not a God we are drawn to — and certainly is not about warm and fuzzy feelings. It is easy to make much of a baby in the manger because for many the God who is a baby is a “god” we can serve. A weak and helpless “god” who seems to need us more than we need Him gives us a sense of control and even authority because who has to submit to an infant. But the God who is sovereign over everything, including us, has the right to demand our obedience, our worship and our all.
According to the Bible, the Jesus who came the first time as a baby in the manger is coming again. And when He returns it will be as an avenger and a righteous judge to punish the wicked and reward the righteous. This may not be the Jesus you would serve, but it is the same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem. Are you ready to meet this Jesus and worship Him? His second appearance will be very different than His first, but it is the same Jesus of the manger. He is the coming King I implore you to accept as He came the first time, as your Savior. When He returns it will be to set up His Kingdom, to make things right and to rule over all creation. May we all learn from Luke’s account that the babe in the manger is the Savior of the world! Make room in your heart for the real Jesus Christ to reign in your life this Christmas.