Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Eve’

Christmas Eve Sermon 2017: “Peace Among Those with Whom God Is Pleased”

January 4, 2018

Of all the amazing that God does throughout the events of the Christmas story, the most amazing thing—indeed, the most difficult—is that God provided a way for all of humanity to be saved through faith in Christ. As I say in this sermon, Jesus was born so that he could die.

Sermon Text: Luke 2:1-20

You can subscribe to my podcast in iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.

In this morning’s sermon I talked about the magi, who lived most likely in Babylon, in the Persian Gulf region. The magi lived about 700 miles east of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. How did God get these men to travel such a great distance to find Jesus? If the star was a miraculous astronomical event, God created it out of nothing. If it was a natural event, God designed the universe in such a way that at just the right moment in history this natural astronomical event would appear in the night sky, get the attention of the magi, and inspire them to travel those 700 miles to see the newborn king of the Jews.

In my sermon I said, “Just think: For the sake of saving a few lost, superstitious, idolatrous, pagan, polytheistic men, God literally moved heaven and earth to lead these men to salvation through Christ!” Like it was nothing at all! Isn’t that amazing! God is amazing!

Similarly, in Luke chapter 2, God does something equally powerful, equally amazing: You see, Micah chapter 5, verse 2, tells us that the Messiah must be born in Bethlehem:

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.

The scribes and the high priests—the Bible scholars of the day—knew that Bethlehem was the place where the Messiah was to be born. One small problem… The Messiah’s mother, Mary, was going to be having a her child very soon, and she’s 80 miles north of Bethlehem in Nazareth. If you’re God, how will you get her from point A to point B? You will put it in the mind of the most powerful ruler the world had ever seen to take a census of his empire—and require that everyone must return to their ancestral homeland. And voila! Problem solved. Crisis averted. The Messiah was born in Bethlehem, just as the Old Testament said he would be. One pastor points out that God doesn’t do things “efficiently”—whether it’s moving heaven and earth for the sake of a few astrologers, or moving tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people around an empire like pieces on a chessboard—all for the sake of moving two of the world’s more “insignificant” people—Mary and Joseph—from Nazareth to Bethlehem, so that prophecy can be fulfilled.

It’s almost like God is showing off—the way he does things! This is not hard for God. God is amazing.

For my sermon tonight, I want to focus on some amazing words—surely some of the most amazing words ever uttered—the words of the angel in verse 11: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” In fact, I want to focus tonight’s message mostly on one word in this one verse: and the word is Savior. Read the rest of this entry »