Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas
John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth“.
Intro: “Christmas is when God wrapped His heart in the flesh and blood of our humanity to show us His love, and bring us His salvation.” Notice that everyone in the Christmas story did not see His Glory! One must be at the right place, at the right time, to get this revelation. Most people living in Christian America will fail to see His Glory! Will you be one who Discovers the Heart of Christmas?
Every Christmas can be a reminder that we need to place ourselves right where we need to be – in the path of the greatest promise ever given to our world. We must place ourselves where God’s heart touches our heart. By wholeheartedly embracing this Season in such a way will allow us to experience everything that the Lord has for us. Christmas is the embodiment – The Word became flesh – of the Father coming into our world and into our life in such a manner that we will not miss the Savior!
I. Our Christmas Promise Was First Given In The Garden Of Eden.
At the very moment of man’s first sin and worst failure, God promised there would be a Christmas! In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and eve’s terrible sin, the Father promised, “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head” (Gen.3:15). Immediately, God stepped into our problem and gave us a promise of a victorious deliverer and protector!
II. Every Prophet Spoke Of A Promised Future.
A study the Old Testament Prophets will reveal to us that God attempted to reveal Christmas to every generation. Isaiah most clearly described this Promised One: Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son … for unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and of His government and peace there shall be no end. (Is.7:14 and 9:6-7).
III. The New Testament Opens With The Promise One.
Our text told the Christmas Story! A young Jewish virgin, Mary, heard the preposterous news that she would bear a child conceived by the Holy Spirit. How could such a thing be possible? Joseph unexpectedly finds all of his plans rearranged by an Angel who told him of the Promised Christ his beloved Mary was to bear.
The Angels appeared to Shepherds, who were at the right place at the right time, and told them of the advent of Christmas. The Shepherds told others, who were also at the right place at the right time, and they amazed. Wise men were at the right place at the right time, and traveled to witness the Young Child of Christmas. Yes, we could mention Simeon, the old priest, and Anna, the old prophetess, who were at the right place and the right time to see Christmas in the making.
There were others who could have found the Heart of Christmas, because they were at the right place, but choose to be a part of Joy To The World. Notice that Caesar, without knowing that he was doing so, was carried in the blow of this promise as God’s instrument to bring the young Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. The Inn Keeper was at the right place, but had not prepared a place for the Birth of the King. Wicked Herod was at the right place, but instead of celebrating Christmas did his best to kill it!
Notice that all of these folks were at the right place and at the right time, but not all found the Heart of Christmas! Mary and Joseph choose to be a part of Christmas and made the sacrifices necessary! The Shepherds and Wise men choose to participate in Christmas and traveled to be a part of it! Simeon and Anna had prayed to be a part of Christmas and their persistence paid of for them! But Caesar, Herod, and even the Inn Keeper did not want to anything to do with The Word becoming Flesh!
Conclusion: Christmas presents us with a sobering choice as well as an incomparable opportunity. We must choose how we will live in light of the Heart of Christmas! We can ignore Christmas, living life as we please and for our own pleasure. Or, we can make what ever sacrifices are necessary to joyfully commit our all to Him in order to receive all that pleases Him and achieves His eternal purpose.
Listen again to the Angel’s promise to Joseph, and to each of us, You shall call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). The Heart of Christmas is God again stepping into the middle of our problems and giving us the promise of a Savior. Today, allow the heart of Christmas to be real in your life!
~ Pastor Erny