THE REALITY OF CHRISTMAS: FEAR AND JOY TO ALL PEOPLES
Listen to the sermon HERE.
Pastor Jeff Mooney
December 25, 2011
Christmas reflects some very real things that are often looked over by both believers and unbelievers. There are four things we can learn about Christmas from this passage in Luke 2:1-20.
1. The Good Tidings of Great Joy is a Message for Humanity in History
- God has become a historical reality in Jesus.
- God came for sinners.
- God knows the reality of your sin so deeply that he knows nothing else will help you. He must rescue you.
- God doesn’t give us a list of things to do to merit his favor. He knows our hearts are dark, we would never follow a list, not even our own list (resolutions).
- Thats the beautiful message of Christmas. God comes as a child, grows up and satisfies all of the wrath against us at the cross.
2. The Good News of Grace Causes Us to Fear and Teaches Us Not to Fear
- There are good ways to fear and bad ways to fear.
- Bad Fear - The horrible sense that there is no way to get our from under this. It’s oppressive fear. This is not what grace teaches.
- Good Fear - This is healthy. The knowledge that there is something that transcends you. God is here and you are not God. Its the idea that WE HAVE NO CONTROL. Death reminds us of this very well. We will all die. It is a good thing to feel this mortal and its a good thing to know that God has come to dominate just this kind of thing.
3. These are Good Tidings of Great Joys for All Peoples
- The majority of other religions surround themselves either by racial or political or cultural distinctions.
- In these there is no grace that teaches you how to fear. There is no answer for death here.
- But this good news is that Jesus dominates death. He brings death to death. Death affects all people and so does this good news.
4. For the Apostle John, the Doctrine of the Incarnation, and Others Believing this Doctrine, is a Source of Immense Joy. (1 John 1:1-4)
- This isn’t some arbitrary idea. The biblical text makes this public fact. We believe that God has broken into history. Life as it should be have broken into life as it is. God himself has seen our dire condition and has come after us. Believing this must give us joy.
- It is very difficult for people to believer in the reality of something if it doesn’t produce real stuff.
- Can you say that your joy is bound up with other rightly believing about Jesus?
“All the beautiful things you have today, the family, gifts, food and drink, the laughter and songs, are faint whispers of this declaration at Christmas. Echos of this great song in the manger. Slight visions of this beautiful portraits of love. All vague, but let them draw you back to the source. The reality that God has come. He has come after you.”