Faithlife Sermons

1.4.4a 12.24.2017 (Christmas Eve) Danger in the Manger

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1 Entice: Danger! Danger! Danger! There is danger in the Manger! I fear Rudolph's glowing nose and the Grinch's thievery far less than my own aimlessness, listlessness and tendency to distraction. The Danger is far beyond committing holiday mall-i-cide, or over-commercialization.
• 1 Entice: Danger! Danger! Danger! There is danger in the Manger! I fear Rudolph's glowing nose and the Grinch's thievery far less than my own aimlessness /// listlessness and tendency to distraction.
2 Engage: Some of the very things we like best and treasure most about Christmas threaten us with a lack of perspective and distorted focus. Most of what is important about Jesus, what is central to His story in the Scriptures does not revolve around Christmas.
• 2 Engage: Some of the things we like best and treasure most about Christmas threaten us with a lack of perspective and focus. Most of what is important about Jesus, what is central to His story in the Scriptures
does not revolve around Christmas.
3 Expand: The message of the angels, the gospel they preached, the good news proclaimed that night was clear, understandable, and specific.
▾ 3 Expand: The message of the angels, the gospel the preached, the good news they proclaimed that night was pretty clear.
Luke 2:11 ESV
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
• 3.1
4 Excite: The danger is more than paper cuts, indigestion, or materialism.
• 4 Excite: The danger is more than paper cuts, indigestion or ……

The danger in the manger is that we celebrate the holiday without worshiping Jesus.

• Explore: The danger in the manger is that we celebrate the holiday without worshiping Jesus.
Explain: Tonight in these last, quiet moments before we retire to hearth and home, family and feasting let me remind you of a few real risks, ever present dangers in the manger.
• Explain: Tonight in these last moments of worship before we retire to hearth and home, family and feasting let me remind you of a few real risks, ever present dangers in the manger.
The first danger is...
▾ Body of Semron:

1 That we make Jesus a Symbol rather than a Savior.

▾ 1 That we make Jesus a Symbol rather than a Savior.
1.1 The Bible is full of symbols. Christmas is full of symbols. Shapes. Sounds. Scents. Costumes. Colors. Celebrations.
• 1.1 The Bible is full of symbols. Christmas is full of symbols. Shapes. Sounds. Scents. Costumes. Colors. Celebrations.
1.2 Symbols signify. They help us communicate. They compare, contrast, highlight, elevate, illustrate & connect.
•1.2 Symbols signify. They compare, contrast, highlight, elevate & etc.
1.3 Jesus is not symbolic of anything:
• 1.3 Jesus is not symbolic of anything: He's the point! The OT in law, prophet and poem-through sacrifice, miracle and circumstance points to Him. When we forget this when we allow central point to elude us then

He's the point!

The OT in law, prophet, and poem-through sacrifice, miracle and circumstance points to Him. When we forget this when we allow this central truth to elude us then we find the mangers of out minds cluttered, our understanding of the story diluted, and our Savior slighted.

we find the mangers of out minds filled with Shepherds eating chocolate chip cookies drinking cocoa while they are caroling the holy family on the way to the Wise-men's Christmas party…right before they go home to help the Sheep decorate the tree.

we find the mangers of out minds filled with Shepherds eating chocolate chip cookies drinking cocoa while they are caroling the holy family on the way to the Wise-men's Christmas party…right before they go

home to help the Sheep decorate the tree.

home to help the Sheep decorate the tree.
1.4 God sent a Savior. Not a symbol of a Savior. Jesus is the reality to which every Biblical allusion alludes and the point of every Biblical promise.
• 1.4 God sent a Savior. Not a symbol of a Savior. Jesus is the reality to which every Biblical allusion alludes and the fulfillment of every promise.
Next there is the danger....

2 That we turn "Baby" Jesus into a mascot rather than a Messiah.

▾ 2 That we turn "Baby" Jesus into a mascot rather than a Messiah.
2.1 Again. To repeat, the Shepherds were promised the long-awaited Messiah.
• 2.1 Again. To repeat, the Shepherds were promised the long-awaited, variously defined Messiah.
2.2 Now-Now…in the 21c "The baby Jesus" is just another cute character in an ever-expanding, overly-commercialized, constantly-televised cast of amusing, enduring, seasonal mascots.
▾ 2.2 Now…in the 21c "The baby Jesus" is just another cute character in an ever-expanding cast.
2.2.1 Charlie Brown and his gang. The Grinch, his little dog, and Mary Lou Who. Frosty, Rudolph, Ralphie, the little drummer boy, the littlest angel and yes…Buddy the Elf. Many of the people who celebrate Christmas like their Messiah’s the same way they like their abominable snowmen…toothless, harmless, cute, cuddly, and impotent.
• 2.2.1 Charlie Brown and his gang. The Grinch, his little dog and Mary Lou Who. Frosty, Rudolph, Ralphie, the little drummer boy, the littlest angel and yes…Buddy the Elf.
2.2.2 We make a major mistake when we allow Jesus to become just another face in the crowd: another cozy character at Christmas. When His story is just another holiday tale we impoverish our understanding of His mission and our own stake in it.
• 2.2.2 We make a major mistake when we allow Jesus to become just another face in crowd at Christmas. When His story is just another holiday tale we impoverish our understanding of His mission and our own
Tonight we will observe the Lord’s Supper together in darkened, holy silence. I hope it prevents the danger...
stake in it.

3 That we become so focused on the Cradle that we loose sight of the Cross.

▾ 3 That we become so focused on the Cradle that we loose sight of the Cross.
3.1 The charm of the improvised cradle should never overshadow the cruel necessity of the cross.
• 3.1 The charm of the improvised cradle should never overshadow the cruel necessity of the cross. The point of His coming was reconciliation. That reconciliation happened on a cross outside Jerusalem not a barn
The point of His coming-the very purpose of His presence was reconciliation.

Reconciliation happened on a cross outside Jerusalem not a barn in Bethlehem.

in Bethlehem.
3.2 One famous scholar defined a Gospel as "a passion Story with a long introduction." Two of our four Gospels don't even mention His birth. All of them focus on the Cross. Paul mentioned that Jesus was “born of a woman.” He described Him as a descendent of David. His gospel: Christ Crucified. His hope: Christ risen.
• 3.2 One famous scholar defined a Gospel as "a passion Story with a long introduction." Two of our four Gospels don't even mention His birth. All of them focus on the Cross.

Joy to the World!!!

▾ Shut Down;
Now that we are fully aware of the Danger of the manger, I'm willing to run the risk-if You are-of gathering around the tree to open presents, drink some egg-nog and watch "The Christmas Story" night and day.
• Now that we are fully aware of the Danger of the manger, I'm willing to run the risk-if You are-of gathering around the tree to open presents, drink some egg-nog and watch "The Christmas Story" night and day.
Born? yes. Savior & Lord, God & King. Then and there for here and now….Joy to the world!
• Born? yes. Savior & Lord, God & King. Then and there for here and now….Joy to the world!
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