Christmas Eve Sermonettes
Luke 1:26-38 – My Son Does the Impossible!
People who live in the world know how this world generally works. Ice is slick, that’s just the way it is. Snow is white, that’s just the way it is. A man and a woman, a male and a female are needed in order for a baby to be conceived. That’s just how it works. And what’s obvious here is that Mary knew where babies came from. She knew the laws of nature well enough to know when they were broken. So she rightly asked, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And we can relate to her question too, can’t we? How often don’t we come up against situations in life which seem impossible? How often don’t we ask? “How is this going to work out? How can I handle this? How will I make it through this? How will God make this turn out for the good? It seems impossible.” Do we try to fit God into our own little box, fit him into our mind, limit Him to what we think is possible, or logical, or what we might prefer? Really? That we would make God fit to our understanding? How sinful on our part!
But the angel reminded Mary and reminds us of a very important truth, “Nothing is impossible with God.” This baby who Mary would have was coming to do the impossible. In fact, God is in the business of doing the impossible! It’s humanly impossible for a virgin to conceive and give birth to a child…but not for God! It’s impossible for sinful humans like us to get to go to live in God’s perfect heaven, impossible, but not for God! You see, you have a God who caused the virgin Mary to have a child, you also have a God who won your eternal salvation, you have a God who is not limited, for whom nothing is impossible – no matter what! Trust in Him for He can do anything. Thank the Lord for Mary’s Son who does the impossible.
Luke 1:39-45 – My Son Makes Me Blessed!
Mary sets off to the home of Elizabeth her elderly relative and when she arrives, John the Baptist who is yet a baby inside Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy and notice what Elizabeth says about Mary: Blessed. She says it 3 times. Blessed is Mary the one chosen by God to bring the Savior into the world, blessed is her child, blessed is she who believed the Lord.
What does it mean to be “blessed”? Our English word “blessed” doesn’t really capture what Scripture means when it calls someone blessed. We think of “blessed” as having good things happen to you. But in Scripture, being blessed gives you ultimate peace, brings you to full human functioning; it makes you everything that God meant for humans to be and enjoy, it means to have a right relationship with God.
So, are you blessed? Isn’t our definition of blessed all too often so earthly focused? You’re blessed if you have good health or a good job or a large bank account or a good family. Those are certainly blessings, but that’s not what makes you really blessed. You’re blessed because you have a God who didn’t leave you out in the cold to die in your sins, you have a God who stopped at nothing – even being enclosed in the womb of a woman- to win your eternal salvation. Yes, I don’t know what you have or don’t have, but I do know this: because of Mary’s Son, you’re blessed…blessed forever!
Luke 1:46-55 – My Son Changes Everything!
This is perhaps the first Christmas carol ever composed and it was sung by Jesus’ earthly mother Mary. Notice what she observes God doing, He’s turning everything upside down: the humble servant will be called blessed, God scatters the proud, He brings rulers down, but lifts up the humble, He fills the hungry with good things, and sends away the rich empty.
God clearly operates on an entirely different standard than we are used to in our world. He turns things all upside down and tops-turvey. The world honors wealth, pride, confidence, popularity. No doubt there were many women throughout the ages and even in Mary’s day who were hoping for the honor of having the Messiah born from them. And who does God use? A lowly, humble, young, peasant girl. How quickly God changes everything!
Mary’s world was totally changed and turned upside down. But notice what it leads her to do. It leads her to glorify and praise God. What’s going on in your life? Has everything been changed for you? Is your life going the way that you planned and pictured it would? I’m guessing not. Does that make you upset? Frustrated? Worried? Or, does it lead you to glorify God?
But think about it: God changed everything for you. You were headed to hell, then God intervened. Mary’s Son Jesus was born to live a perfect life for you, die for your sins on the cross, and rise from the dead to prove your forgiveness. That changed everything for Mary, that changes everything for you too! Salvation is already yours! So whether your life is going the way you expect it or not, whether things in life have suddenly changed for you or not, you can still with Mary rejoice in God your Savior! He has changed everything eternally, instead of death and hell, you get life and heaven!
Luke 2:1-7 – My Son Comes for All!
Mary’s a first time mom. She did what just about every mom back then would do, she wrapped her Son in cloths to keep him warm and safe. Was she doing it right? Was she being a good mom? Well, then she placed Him in a feeding trough, a manger. Wait! What? Really? A feeding trough?? But that’s all she had! That was the only place open for her child because there was no room in any inn.
Think about it: this is the most important birth of all time! This is the King of kings and Lord of lords and He’s born where? In a place for animals! Placed in a feeding trough? This isn’t sterile conditions, think of the smell, the noise, the hay, the general un-comfortableness of it all. What’s going on? Where’s the palace? The attendants? The servants?
When we enter the presence of someone who is very powerful or very influential or very popular, we tend to feel out of place, even perhaps nervous. Why is the God of all born in such lowly circumstances? He’s not just the Savior of the elites or the upper class or those with power and money. Rather, He comes for all! He can relate to all! He didn’t come only for the wise and rich, He also came for the poor and lowly, He came to save all, He came for you!
Luke 2:19 – My Son Refocuses my Life!
Mary didn’t let the events of Christmas simply leave her unchanged. She remembered, she pondered, she treasured up all these things. Here’s a question for you: What are you going to do with this Christmas message?
Can you really walk away from this evening and this message unchanged? Can you really ponder the mystery of God’s grace for you in this baby born to save you and then return to a life of selfishness, bitterness, envy?
God’s love seen in Mary’s Son our Savior moves us to redirect our lives off of self and on to God and when that happens our entire life focus shifts, life isn’t about me and my wants, it’s about God and what He wants. Life is about serving this God who has come to serve and save us. And how so? Christmas is a time of giving. People are often generously giving of their money for gifts or charity, but one of your most valuable possessions is time. You can get money back, but you can’t get time back.
May this Christmas message move each of us to use our time like Mary to ponder and treasure God’s grace by hearing His Word and may we use our time not to serve ourselves but to serve those people God places in our lives. Yes, Mary’s Son, Our Savior refocuses our lives!
(Editor’s note: The Christmas Eve service was broadcast by Radio WBJI and this recording was made from their source. )