As a pastor we have two great emotions around momentous days like Christmas Eve:
One emotion is pure excitement to see so many of our faith community join in
worshiping Jesus together. It’s an excitement brought on by seeing seats filled and
parking lots overflowing. Feeling the energy of a room bustling with anticipation.
Then there’s the joy of knowing that everyone who is sitting under the sound of our
voice will be able to experience the presence of God and hear a message that clearly
proclaims God’s intent towards all of humanity. The leaning on God’s truth and that
everyone has the ability to be a part of God’s family.
The first emotion is pure happiness because all of the difficult work is paying off…a set
of circumstances has aligned that makes every pastor happy.
The second is an overwhelming joy that has nothing to do with the circumstances of
attendance, parking lots, or the feel of a room. It’s totally relying on God’s sovereignty
and desire that all should know him. The Greek work for this in Scripture is Chara.
What does Chara look like in your life this Christmas season?
“A deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ (Jn
15:11). It does not depend on circumstances because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all
things.” – Dr. Donald Campbell (Dallas Theological Seminary)
This flies in the face of conventional wisdom that tells us to ignore things that do not
make us happy. That if something is too difficult, or the odds are against us, then we
must be doing something wrong, or people are wronging us.
It’s incumbent on us to break the box of conventional wisdom, and to seek out Biblical
wisdom. Scripture acknowledges that you may be wronged, or that the odds may be
stacked against you, but that we can still find a deep sense of joy and happiness that
supersedes the circumstances surrounding us.
In a weird set of circumstances (Mary pregnant by the holy spirit, in a town that has no
room for her and Jesus, in a cave/stable to deliver the savior of the world, protected by
a man who wanted to leave her, and all witnessed by a group of strange men who had
angels appear to them)…we find Chara alive and well in the Luke’s telling of the
Luke 2:6-20: 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she
gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a
manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were
shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An
angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good
news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior
has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will
find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of
the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one
another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the
manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been
told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds
said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her
heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had
heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
This Christmas season let’s be reminded that God uses ordinary people to do
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause
great joy for all the people.
The announcement of the King came to shepherds. People that no one would’ve picked.
It didn’t come to the noble, the royal, or the well-to-do. It came those who low of status
but open in their heart
A teenage girl who carried favor in the eyes of God carried Jesus in her womb
A carpenter was charged with caring and raising the son of God.
Break the box that wants to limit God and what He can do with YOUR “ordinary” life.
The men were just showing up day after day, doing what they knew. And one day
Heaven broke open. You never know what God can do when you simply show up with
excellence in what He’s calling you to do.
God desires for you to know Him for who he really is
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the
Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a
Make room for the King! He’s not just the baby Jesus, or the miracle worker, or the
Genie in a bottle, or the Crucifix you pray to when you’re in trouble. He is the king!
How do you picture Jesus?
A.W Tozer said, “’What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most
important thing about us.”
Jesus came as a humble baby to a lowly family and showed us that He is always at
work in ways that we can’t see or don’t understand. Could it be possible that the path
God chose for Jesus to enter into the world, to grow up in our world, and to make a
difference in our world, was all to show us who he really is?
What a welcome he received in Bethlehem that evening…no place for him and his family,
no fan fair, no triumphant announcement to the public square. But a welcome sight he
was, and continues to be.
SONG – Welcome to our world
Such a tiny gift we celebrate…and yet a gift that came to redeem all of mankind. But in
order for him to do so The King must first take his rightful place in our hearts
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
What is occupying the space that God desires to dwell in? Is it a relationship, an
incessant desire to climb your career, your investment portfolio?
What are you treasuring?
○ Gospel Presentation
■ Do you know what God treasures? YOU.
■ Scripture says in John 3:16-17: 16 “For this is how God loved the
world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes
in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into
the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
■ You only know the value of SOMETHING to SOMEONE by what they
are willing to pay for it. And God took the most prized thing in the
universe- HIMSELF; His Son. And sent Jesus as a willing sacrifice
for a chance at relationship with you.
■ What does that say about you and I? It says God looked at us
outside of the box of our sin and brokenness. He saw us as worth
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come / Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room / And Heaven and nature sing”
We only receive the King when we make room. Not give him a corner or a slice of the pie; it’s when we give him our whole heart