A mother and daughter were driving down the road during the Christmas Holiday enjoying all the lights and decorations that folks had displayed on their homes and in their yards. On one house, in particular – was covered with lights and the lights were flashing and blinking off and on. No doubt, this house’s decorations were eye-catching. You couldn’t miss it if you wanted to. The mother said, “I wonder why they have their lights blinking off and on so much. What do you think they are celebrating or trying to advertise? The daughter said, “Well…It’s a birthday party, mom!” It’s Jesus’ birthday. “Jesus is the Reason for the Season!”
And, indeed Jesus is…
We come together this time of year to rejoice and remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – Who is completely divine – born of the Virgin Mary But, also completely human – born of the woman and humanity of Mary. This time of year, has become so commercialized that if we are not careful, we can be easily distracted by the glitter and flashing of new -fangled toys – become so busy with shopping and buying gifts – only later to realize that our pockets have run dry.
Christmas Eve is like taking a deep breath – because by now, the hard work is done – time to relax and enjoy the day that is before us. We come here tonight to be reminded of the Christ Child that is born in the manger.
We know this story by heart. And, we love to hear it over and over again. It’s like our own birth stories. I love telling my children their birth stories and they love hearing it! However, we know that the birth of the Messiah is something special. So special that in those days, shepherds and wisemen traveled for miles and even days just to see the child laying in a manger.
However, I wonder if because we hear it every year – the fact that most of us know it by heart – that we may be missing out on something…When it feels so rote…and maybe we are even here tonight because it’s just the right thing to do on Christmas Eve…to take an hour or so and remember the baby Jesus that was born.
In any case, I want to challenge you tonight to think about this birth story of Jesus in a different way:
Consider: Why is this story so special? What did Jesus do for humanity by coming to earth and live among us? What was His purpose? Why did God send Him?
And ultimately, “How does Jesus change EVERYTHING?” Not just everything on earth – but everything in our lives – How does the birth of our Lord and Savior change everything for us in our lives today?
Why is this story even relevant for us as we walk out of here tonight?
If you have ever read or studied the Old Testament, you will find that story after story the people of God in one breath, are worshipping God and trying to live up to God’s commandments the best they can. In the next breath, the people of God have turned away from God – especially worshipping idols, instead of worshipping God. And God sends all kinds of prophets to try and get the people’ attention and to turn back to God and to change their ways.
Today those stories in the Old Testament continue – except that we now have different kinds of idols – some worship money, some worship “stuff,” some worship success and climbing the corporate ladder –We are all human and we all worship something in our lives. At the end of the day, God’s people from 1000’s of years ago struggled with putting God first in their life just as the people today struggle with putting God first in their lives. The story has not changed for the human race – we are the same now as we were then.
So what is the problem? The problem here is that God created each one of us. And, God created us for a reason. Not so we can just be God’s puppet and do as God says, but because God loves us. God created us so that we can have a relationship with him. BECAUSE God created us; therefore, God wants us to be in relationship with Him!
And, I have proof of this…
I learned something really fascinating not too long ago that I want to share with you. Did you know that there is a protein in our bodies called “Laminin?”
This protein is a major component of the protein network foundation for most of our cells and organs in our bodies. The Laminins in our bodies are important and are a biological active part that influences cell differentiation, migration, and adhesion. Laminins are an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every tissue of our bodies.
In other words, this protein, LAMININ is the GLUE that holds us together! It is what holds the cells together in our body.
And, here is what Laminin looks like…(See the Image above)
Look! Jesus Christ is in us, through us, and with us! You see, we cannot escape Him no matter how hard we may try –Jesus Christ is the Glue that holds us together! This is the amazing work of our God who created us!
You see…Jesus isn’t just the REASON for the SEASON…
JESUS IS THE REASON…Jesus Christ who was born unto us a child laying in a manger is our GOD who created us –
And, why did Jesus have to come to earth? Because us humans couldn’t get our act together. No matter how hard we try, even if we are intentional about it, we continue to mess up – Our sin is a barrier between us and God. And if God’s ultimate goal is to be in a relationship with Him, then SIN had to go…
And, so Jesus Christ walks to the cross on our behalf.
REMEMBER: For Jesus, sin is death. Forgiveness is LIFE.
Through Jesus Christ who lives in you, through you, and with you, since the day you were created, made it possible to have a relationship with God, our Father – Maker and Creator of Heaven and Earth, who now gives hope to the world of eternal peace and love.
So then…Why is this even relevant for us as we walk out of here tonight?
Well, I don’t know about you…but my life doesn’t go exactly perfect every day. I say things I should not have said; As soon as I wake up in the morning, I do the very thing every day that I say I am not going to do anymore, and my mind often races with thoughts and deeds that I know would not please God.
You see, God not only wants a relationship with you, but God also wants us to have a relationship with one another. As Christians, we are called to love one another as Jesus Christ has loved us –And, we can only have effective and loving relationships by Forgiving one another. This is true love because not a single one of us deserves it –
Because Jesus Christ forgives you – even though you have done nothing to merit God’s forgiveness, you have the profound ability to forgive those who have hurt you –
If it were not for forgiveness, we would live our lives in bitterness and hate – and no hope for our eternal life.
The Birth of our Lord and Savoir CHANGES EVERYTHING! Jesus is not just the REASON FOR THE SEASON, but That JESUS IS THE REASON! He is the reason we are able to live our lives in complete JOY.
Not only do we rejoice and celebrate His birth – but we rejoice in our NEW LIFE and opportunity to know our God intimately. If our SIN causes our DEATH – then YOU and I never have to DIE!
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR OUR LIFE! – OUR LIFE HERE ON EARTH AND OUR ETERNAL LIFE
The question again: Why is this birth story of our Lord even relevant for us as we walk out of here tonight?
As you leave here tonight to go home – enjoy the gifts you have given for one another, enjoy the time you have together, and enjoy the love you share. God rejoices in that!
But, most of all, remember the Christ Child who came to free you from all the mistakes you have made – the one who made forgiveness possible –
If you are someone who is hurting because of a broken relationship – this is the night to let it go
Through the Christ Child that is born – Forgiveness is possible – even when you don’t think that you can – You are put together with the delicate and amazing love of our Lord and Savior who holds all things together – living cell by living cell…
The Angel proclaims: Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
Because of the Christ Child who is born tonight, you have LIFE and you have it ABUNDANTLY!