Faithlife Sermons

Christmas Worship Stopped By Fear

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Background: This is an excerpt from an unpublished book by Brad Berglund. It explores the Christian adage: Wise men still seek him. What would it be like if modern seekers were with the wise men when they worshiped Jesus?

Previously, Brought-Low had expressed his fears to a Pharisee in the temple (click {HERE} for the previous chapter). The wise men and the seekers all leave Jerusalem an make their way to Bethlehem.

In the book, the wise men are about to enter in and worship the child (click {HERE} for the discovery of the wise men. He is the answer to their soul’s deepest needs. However, the seeker outside will not enter for various reasons.

“Wait! I am not ready! Why must we rush into this?”

The other companions were amazed by this cry. “Rush in? We have traveled for months and planned this quest for decades. If God has made the path both clear and plain, why should we hesitate for another second?”

“Because,” Brought-Low searched in vain for words. “Well, my wise friends, there is a cost if we take one more step. You are well aware that persecution and mockery await us at home.”

“Yes indeed, we have counted that cost.”

“Sirs, I beg of you. If this God is so mighty, why has He not removed this cost? Why does He insist upon faith before He removes the tyrant? Is it too much to ask that the way be made easier before we tread upon it?”

“Brought-Low, your fears have no foundation. Is there any time in our journey when God has disappointed us as we trusted Him in faith?”

“Well, yes! The star went out before we arrived here.”

“Yes, but it returned again when we stepped out on faith.”

Brought-Low realized that his arguments were falling on deaf ears. “I marvel that you are prepared to cast your treasures and bow you noble knees before one who is of lower standing than yourselves all because you have absolute faith in God’s revelation.”

“That is right!”

“But what if you are wrong? Balthazar, what if this is an empty chase? You could lose much. There are many ways to interpret sacred writings. What if your interpretation is wrong? What if Shepherd Sam is deceived? Do you not see that your action will result in demotion when we return home?”

“May I speak?” asked Shepherd Sam.

“By all means,” replied Balthazar.

“Sir, you have come seeking a liberator, am I not right?”

“You are correct.”

“Immanuel will deliver you from your greater enemy, sin. A Psalmist once prayed, ‘Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.’ Is that what you want?”

“Yes, I want to be delivered from the oppression of others.”

“No, I mean, do you want to keep His precepts?”

“I don’t get it.”

“The previous verse says, ‘Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.’ You are convinced that people are your oppressors. Sin is your oppressor and sin is using your lusts to hold you in oppression. Immanuel will set you free from your bondage to sin. Then you are able to ask for deliverance from man’s oppression so that you might be sold out to Him.”

“This is all a bunch of babble. I am free right now to live life on my terms. I refuse to be brought under the moral standards of self-righteous people. I have a problem with men, not God. I cannot see how this is going to help. You can’t even guarantee that my oppressors will lighten up.”

The other wise men knew debate was futile, so they turned to Brought-Low and said, “You may not be prepared to enter, but you will not stop us. You are right; the way of faith does not promise that tyrants will immediately go away. Our actions may kindle the anger anew. That does not stop us. We surrender all by faith in order to grasp a gracious gift of God which can never be achieved by faithlessness.”

The wise men turned and headed into the doorway that led to the Immanuel. They blocked out of their minds the continued rants of Brought-Low. “So it’s all or nothing. This is what I hate about churches and doctrine. You don’t answer question; you ignore them. You think that you have found the answer. Well, I haven’t. I am a seeker and I will remain one until I can be satisfied. Maybe Immanuel is the answer, but I am not convinced.”

For other excerpts click on {Magi at Bethlehem} or {Sitting on Herod's Throne}

For other messages and illustrations click on {Pastor B's Archives}

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