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An Extraordinary Child for an Ordinary People

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An Extraordinary Child for an Ordinary People

Rev. Canon Glenn E. Davis

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2008

Illustration: Imaginary Sam Johnson yearns to know the meaning of Christmas. Where in our media-driven culture can he find the answer? Will the movies released on Christmas Day give Sam the answer? The Spirit, Marley and Me, Valkyrie, etc. Can Direct TV, or cable, give Sam the explanation of Christmas?  UFO File marathon (History Channel), John Wayne marathon (AMC), Engineering an Empire marathon (History International), Law and Order marathon (TNT), NBA marathon (ESPN), etc.  Sam remembers that Charlie Brown asked this same question in 1965! Linus gave him the answer in Luke 2. A forty-year old cartoon provides the answer!

Text: Luke 2:1-20 NIV.

Verse One) The child was born during an ordinary time-tax time-sent by an extraordinary God.

Ordinary people living ordinary lives doing ordinary things while living in an ordinary age. Judea is poverty-stricken, backwater country, full of poor peasants barely living above subsistence.

“Sent”: Grace-“No one can understand the message of Scripture who does not know the meaning of grace.  The God of the Bible is 'the God of all grace' (1 Pet. 5:10).  Grace is love, but love of a special sort.  It is love which stoops and sacrifices and serves, love which is kind to the unkind, and generous to the ungrateful and undeserving.  Grace is God's free and unmerited favor, loving the unlovable, seeking the fugitive, rescuing the hopeless, and lifting the beggar from the dunghill to make him sit among princes.”

[John Stott, Understanding the Bible, Revised (London: Scripture Union, 1984), 127.]

Verse Five) The child was born to a woman with an extraordinary heart.

Mary’s heart was word-saturated, heart surrendered, purposefully yielded, and trustfully mindful of God’s goodness.

Verse Seven) The child was born in an ordinary house under extraordinary conditions.

Virgin Birth- Jesus was conceived in the womb of his mother Mary by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit and without a human father. Matt 1: 18,20, 24-25; Luke 1:35.

Verse Eight) The child was born and an extraordinary announcement was made to ordinary workers (i.e., shepherds).

Shepherds are the unclean, low-income, non-influential, and ignored part of society. We are like the shepherds: no state funeral, no palaces, no political power, and no money. The world does not notice us.

Verse Thirteen) The child was born as ordinary workers experienced extraordinary worship.

“Heavenly hosts” are not angels in choir robes, but angelic armies. They are spiritual armies with swords drawn, ready, and prepared to return earth back to its rightful owner—God.

Verse Sixteen) The child amazed the ordinary workers; they saw that an extraordinary God had sent an extraordinary child for ordinary people.

Christmas is necessary because I am a sinner. My selfishness has brought my ruin as well as hurting God and others. The amazing truth is that the offended God sent his Son by his grace and mercy for the purpose of freeing me (Matt 1:21).

Sin-selfishness and rebellion caused by my choices and by being a descendant of Adam. Sin turns the world upside down: it says that everyone and everything should revolve around my desires, needs, and wants.

“Christmas is about God the Father (the offended party) taking the initiative to send his only for many sins.”

[William H. Smith, “Christmas is Disturbing.”]

How do we know that Jesus was extraordinary for the ordinary?

Verse Eleven) He is extraordinary by being the Savior: Divine Deliver, Messiah: Anointed one from God, Lord: All-mighty who is Lord over everything.

Verse Twelve) He is ordinary by being fully human: a baby wrapped in cloths (Eze. 16:4) and lying in a animal feeding trough.

The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man in one person and will be so forever.

Conclusion: An extraordinary God sent an extraordinary son to ordinary people in order that they might have an extraordinary relationship with him.

“The Shepherds were welcomed at the manger. The unclean were judged to be clean. The outcasts became honored guests. The song of angels was sung to the simplest of all.”

[Kenneth E. Bailey, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 2008), 37.]

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