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Christmas for All // Awe & Wonder

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INTRODUCTION

Have you ever wondered what you were going to get for Christmas?
That wonder
That curiosity
That awestruck feeling that flooded our hearts when we found out that even though we were naughty all year, Santa was still going to come through?
Do we still have those feelings about Christmas
Or has our Christmas list robbed us of that wonder?
Has the predictability of our grandparents stolen that curiosity?
Or has enablement robbed us of the joy of getting what we don’t deserve?
Did we come to church today expecting the same old sermon out of the same old bible?
Or are we excited to crack open to Luke once again and allow the word of God to stir an awe and wonder in our hearts
Are we excited to finish this year with expectation that God is not done with us
Are we looking forward to what God wants to do in our lives in 2018?
Do we feel that 2018 has the potential to spark a curiosity that leads us to wonder what God will do in the new year

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THAT IN MY POCKET I HAD SOMETHING GOD CREATED, THAT NOBODY ON THIS EARTH HAS EVER SEEN BEFORE?

What if I told you that this thing, is a picture of the Bible and its promises for our lives.
What if I told you that this Book and its promises are not just for us to read
But for us to unwrap, unpack, and unravel
For us to experience for our selves,
For us to review, rant, and rave about
But most importantly for us to distribute
This is the Christmas Story
So lets take a deeper look at it
READ
Luke 2:1–20 NKJV
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
PRAY THAT WE WOULD HAVE AN AWE AND WONDER FOR WHAT CHRIST WANTS TO DO IN AND THROUGH US. PRAY THAT PEOPLE WOULD KNOW HOW UNIQUE THE PLANS OF GOD ARE.
Luke 2:1–7 NKJV
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
LUKE 2:
LET’S PUT OURSELVES IN THE SHOES OF MARY:
For over 400 years, the God of Mary had been silent
She was a teenage girl
A girl who might have
A girl who was surrounded by woman who were so excited about the Messiah that they began to call their babies Yeshua, in hopes that they would be the channel through which Messiah came.
This young girl, would one day be proposed to by a just man named Joseph
He would prepare a place for her
He would be working hard to give her the perfect wedding day
It was while Joseph was working hard to prepare himself for this day
That God was preparing his heart for a deeper work
A work that would paint an umpteenth draft of what Christ would do.
What am I talking about?
The fact that Joseph’ had every reason to just bail on Mary in light of her so called -unfaithful-pregnancy
He would be encouraged to bail
He would desire to divorce her under the table
But instead of giving up on a so-called idolatrous woman
Instead of listening to the critics
He is interrupted once again, but this time by an Angel
He is told to not be afraid of the circumstance
But to take Mary as a wife
For she was not to be blamed for what God had allowed
“For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”
After receiving Biblical Council, Joseph goes all in on what God had in store for him.
We know what was going through Joseph’s head, but how hard would it have been to be Mary?
In her society, she had no voice
She was expendable
She was viewed as unfaithful
She had no value
Except for what God the Father was doing in her
This was her only Hope
This was all she had to look forward to
This was her only expectation.
But it was also all she needed.
By now, everyone had unfollowed, blocked, and spread rumors about this couple.
But it wasn’t going to stop them from believing
The world and what it values was not going to prevent them from believing what God was going to do with their lives.
For them, all they could bank on is what the Angel had said to both of them.
I love how Joseph responds in Matthews Narrative
"Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,"
BACK TO THE TEXT
As the couple arrived in Bethlehem
It was time for the baby to be born
And she brought forth her firstborn son
She wrapped him in swaddling cloths
Laid him in a manger for there was no room in the inn.
THINK ABOUT IT FOR A SECOND
NOW,
Jesus could have been born into any family he wanted to
He could have been born into a rich community
He could have been born into a comfortable setting
At least a crib with some lambies
But instead, He comes into a volatile situation
This was their idea
That challenges every part of his divine nature.
Think about it:
The First Miracle that Jesus was a part of, His birth, was the paradigm shift that would mark his life:
From Rich to Poor
From a sinless atmosphere to the place where sin abounds
From Not knowing Sin, to becoming Sin for us
From Son of God to the Sacrificial Lamb
AFTER BEING BORN, CHECK OUT WHAT GOD DOES:
Luke 2:8
Luke 2:8–14 NKJV
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
In the same country, there were some Shepherds Living out in the fields
Keeping watch over the flock at night
Now, God the Father could have chosen anyone to experience the first reveal
Ceasar Agustus
Quirinius
The Pharisees and Saducees
The Scribes
Anyone
Instead of choosing high class individuals with a influential voice
He chooses to go to the lowest of the low
In fact, a Shepherds Testimony had no value
It didn’t hold up in a court room of law
Neither would anyone believe their testimony
Shepherds, who were tending a flock that would normally be used to sell as sacrificial animals, could not even participate in spiritual celebrations because of their reputation
As these men were caring for their flocks
An Angel stood before them
God’s glory shown around them
And just like everyone who had ever met an angel, they were struck with fear
THINK ABOUT IT:
They had never been a part of anything Spiritual
They had never been able to celebrate a feast
To invite them to be among the first to experience God’s Reveal was a little scary
In light of their fear, the Angel of the Lord, spoke to them words of comfort
Words that may have struck a cord
Words that may have reminded them of past prophetic stories they had once heard of
He brought good tidings
Or He came to proclaim the Good News of Great Joy
This Proclamation that would bring Great joy is available to all people
What could this possibly be?
None other than a baby that was born on our behalf
None other than a Savior that came to our world
None other than a Christ who is also Lord
How would they know who this baby is?
They would find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger
The first part of that is kind of general
But the uniqueness of Baby Jesus would be in how he came into this world
No room in the Inn
Possibly in a cave, barn, or a home
Yes wrapped in swaddling cloths
But uniquely laying in a feeding trough.
The Shepherds were on the Def
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