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Infinite and Intimate

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The Christmas Story
Luke 1:26–38 ESV
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26–38 ESV
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1
Luke 2:1–20 ESV
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Tonight what we celebrate is nothing short of the miraculous. We celebrate Jesus coming into the world in flesh
It is astounding to think about the fact that the God of the universe, the One, True God came and lived with, ate with, spent time with, cried with, laughed with His creation.
And if you have spent any time with us here you know that we talk a lot about how with God there is no plan B, with God there are no surprises, with God this plan was from the very beginning. Do not mistake that. Do not think that Jesus’ coming was because of something that happened, or that God had to fix something or that God had to figure out what to do and put His hope in Jesus.
No, this was the plan from the beginning.
Even the book of Genesis before Moses and Noah and Abraham talks about a savior that would go to war with the enemy of or souls. In
Genesis 3:15 ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
where we are told
where we are told
We read in Luke of that amazing and incredible night when Jesus Christ came to earth.
Luke 2:1–20 ESV
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
talks about the shepherds who are minding their own business, they are at work, watching, caring for their flocks of sheep.
talks about the shepherds who are minding their own business, they are at work, watching, caring for their flocks of sheep.
Suddenly they see what is called a host of angels that appear and these angels fill the countryside with their brilliance and with their voices.
They are told about this savior that has been born and they lift up their voices and celebrate by saying, probably screaming, Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” They are astounded at what just took place because they understand the weight of the situation, they understand how big of a night this is.
The Christ, the savior has been born into this world! And so the shepherds go to see this little baby and they become the first evangelists for Jesus. The word tells us that after they saw the baby they travelled back to the sheep and told everyone along the way what they saw.
I often think about those shepherds and what their lives were like after seeing Jesus. Was there a new hope? Did it change anything about their day to day routine?
Did their seeing the baby King change them or give them some kind of hope?
Because understand this, Jesus the only begotten son of God stepped away from his throne to become one of us, to experience life as a human but ultimately and specifically to die for us. This was the mission of Christ, the cross. Because without the cross, there is no salvation.
What does the birth of Jesus mean for me? In other words what is so significant about the incarnation.
God loved us so much, he loved you and me so much that he would pursue us. He went to great lengths to be with us.
Clothed himself in flesh…
Stepped out of His reality into ours.
It wasn’t just changing positions for Jesus. It was a change of reality. God is so Holy, so completely other that He doesn’t even exist in space and time. He doesn’t.
Psalm 90:4 ESV
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
We, as humans who live within the boundaries of space and time cannot really fathom this idea of God breaking into our reality.
We, as humans who live within the boundaries of space and time cannot really fathom this idea of God breaking into our reality.
JI Packer says in his famous book, Knowing God about the incarnation. “
JI Packer says in his famous book, Knowing God about the incarnation. “
The more you think about it the more staggering it is: the babyhood of the son of god.
Because there was a time when the baby Jesus didn’t know how to talk, didn’t know how to eat, had to be changed and carried and cared for. He was every bit human while at the same time every bit God the Son. Difficult to figure out isn’t it.
Another quote from Packer.
How are we to think of the incarnation?  The New Testament does not encourage us to puzzle our heads over the physical and psychological problems that it raises but to worship god for the love that was shown in it.
Our God is Infinite and Intimate. God is outside of time and space and matter, meaning he is not confined to it. Yet he loved his creation, His people so much that he plunges himself into our reality because we need a savior.
And there is beauty in the fact that he controlled when he was born, where he was born and how he was going to be born which follows prophecy perfectly.
They shouldn’t have been in Bethlehem. But they had to in order that prophecy would be fulfilled.
Micah 5:1–2 ESV
Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek. But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
That is crazy! 700 years before Jesus was born this prophecy was written. And Jesus fulfils it.
So he came as a little baby in a little town among humble outsiders-the shepherds. He didn’t come to the High Priests and the religious, he didn’t come to the powerful in government, he didn’t come to the military, he came to simple people who would have been considered outcasts.
Which means that we don’t have to be special in the eyes of the world for Jesus to be available to us.
The Magi from the east got it right when they bowed down to him and gave him gifts, gifts that some say would represent his life and his position. Gold because that is the right gift for a king, Frankincense used in worship and myrrh that may represent suffering that Christ would eventually live out.
Matthew, the writer of his gospel doesn’t really say but what Matthew focuses on is what we focus on tonight. Worship. What did the wise men do when them came to Jesus? They worshiped Him. What did the shepherds do when they came to the baby? They worshipped him.
You know we are in the same place tonight. We are faced with the birth of the savior, the Christ coming into the world and has made himself completely accessible. Isn’t that incredible? Isn’t that worthy of us expressing our praise to Him tonight? This Holy Night?
We are so fortunate because our God decided to put a face on. He isn’t so far off that we cannot know Him. He put on flesh because he loves us and wants us to have something to worship.
How incredible and how loving this Infinite and Intimate God is? And I would ask you as we get ready to light our candles and sing these couple of songs to celebrate the savior; have you bowed down to the king? Have you surrendered to His Lordship in your life? Have you believed on Him and given your life to him?
There is no better time to give your life to Jesus then during the season that we celebrate him coming into the world. That is why He came by the way. To seek and to save the lost and we qualify as the lost.
And remember that there is more to the story than a baby being born. That baby would grow in wisdom and stature and in favor of God and man and would teach others about the father, he would preform miracles because he is a healer and he would suffer and die for you and for me on a cross because he is the only suitable sacrifice.
He is infinite and he is intimate. Do not forget that this night!
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