Hope for All: A Christmas Story (Part 4)
Good afternoon from Westminster, MD!
Over the past three weeks, we journeyed through the Christmas Story. We have seen how God used Mary, a normal Jewish girl, to bring Jesus, God in the flesh, into our world. We looked at how the shepherds, unimportant by society’s standards, were chosen by God to be one of the first people to see the Savior of the World and to spread the news of his birth. Last week we saw how God decided to come into the world as a baby and to be born in a stable instead of a palace, demonstrating from the beginning that Jesus is accessible to all people. Today, on Christmas Eve, I want to explore a part of this story of hope that often gets overlooked.
The story could begin in any number of places around the world. It could be a story of humble beginnings or a story of privilege. It could be a story filled with happiness or a story filled with tears. Whatever the story is, it is a part of the Christmas Story. This is the story of your life. In John’s account of Jesus’ life he writes, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, he gave the right to become Children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:9-13, NIV 1984) When God decided to come into the world in the form of a baby on that fateful Christmas night, he was thinking about you.
This Christmas I hope you see your part in the Christmas Story. Like Mary and the shepherds, Jesus came to change our lives. Christmas is not just a story of hope for all of the “normal” people who experienced Jesus’ birth, but a story of hope for all who believe in the reason he came into this world. Jesus was born so that he could redeem your life and restore your relationship with God. This is what we celebrate on Christmas. The moment God put his incredible redemption plan into full gear- a redemption plan that was all about changing the lives of normal people like you and me. Christmas is a story of hope for all- and that includes you.
As you celebrate Christmas this year I hope you celebrate it with new eyes. Instead of seeing the Christmas Story as a beautiful story and has little relevance to your life, I hope you see it as the moment God came to earth to redeem you. God is all about taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. Maybe this Christmas that will be you.