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December 20, 2020 7:00 am
Good evening and welcome to our special Sunday evening Christmas service. We can Baptist here in Burlington, North Carolina.
I know that the sum of each unit Annex probably expectancy one of our pastors, but in God's providence. They've all been impacted by COBIT and are currently under quarantine so your it looks like you're stuck with few of us faithful members as we celebrate the incarnation of Christ tonight. Now did find out this morning that the one at one of our pastors has completed his quarantine cycle and I'm glassed him to give the opening prayer book right before I do that I do want to mention that we will have four congregational songs. We don't have a congregation here and we don't have a choir here so were glass that you sing along with us in your home and lift your voices and help us to praise God this evening so now pastoral tour become Levison (spell for prayer fathers become before you tonight would you praise you for the Lord Jesus Christ. We praise you for your grace and mercy that brought salvation to mankind. We praise you for the gifts of faith and repentance. Father, we would ask that you would be with those for ministering to us tonight in word and song. Bless them for their efforts made in turn be a blessing we pray for those in our church who are in various stages of COBIT 19 we ask that you strengthen them Lord, and that you would Hileman your good pleasure.
What I think, in particular tonight of Jack Petrie learned this afternoon that he's a UNC hospital with fluid on his lungs. I pray that you watch over Jack and seemed to this, we think. Also, Drew Guthrie is battling cancer and COBIT 19 Shirley Rocky, a teacher at Alamance Christian school is battling cancer in our pope member of our church will be having several important tests in the days ahead, we also pray for the family. Bob Prentice is an elder at Christian form Baptist Church in who died early this morning from COBIT 19 we pray not only for his family, but for the congregation. They lost two of the leaders in the past few weeks we think of missionaries to wall is in the hospital in Zimbabwe and receiving fluids for dehydration. We also pray for missionary Mike Webster will be getting chemotherapy for cancer and father. Tonight we pray for our nation engulfed in corruption and unrest and violence.
We pray for justice to be served. We ask your protection or law enforcement.
We asked for wisdom and courage on the part of those elected officials who seek to do what's right once again. Father, we thank you for your faithfulness, your grace and mercy and locked our families and our church. May you be glorified through all that said and done Christ. It will open up the program by sharing the story with you this evening so Alyssa won't listen up in the rainforests of Africa their lives. A common awkward bird an ugly thing on beautiful. Nevertheless, I will honor her as a creature most exquisite since she is a cursive script of our creator when she flies her flight is the handwriting of God. When she nest God is imparting parables. This bird inhabits the Cathedral darkness below high canopies of leaves. The value space is green. Her world is loud with shrieks of animals and dangerous with predators jackals on the ground, egging bush babies in the branches, monkeys and surplus and boiling. Overall, the Eagle carnivores. She lives in a perilous place, but she lives. She flies Swift on her wing. She eluded her enemies and feeds on the fruit of the climbing vines. The high flowering trees. She flies at all times. It is her nature and her freedom to fly except she mothers her children. She's called the horn bill because she's got a beak is big as a hollow log in on top of that beak horn in every sense is a megaphone.
Be magnifying her cries and covering the whole of her face.
The beak is a Canon and brought her a Peninsula and affixed to the crest of it is a casket helmet and enormous form the hornbills a large and ugly bird know she is terribly terribly lovely watcher watch what she does watch what she does to herself for the sake of her children for when the town girls not should lay in love.
A clutch of eggs this ugly bird transfigured herself sacrifice. She sorts through the forest in search of a tree that has a hollow trump to receive herself, her beak and her eggs.
She has found it. She enters and flies no more immediately with the help of her mate from the outside. She says to work to wall the doorway, shut mud and dung like a hard cement no printer will break into terrorizing small chicks or delete them. They are protected by her providence out of her bowels comes a stuff of their fortress wall. She is a refuge. While there week. She is there space a while, but the wall that saved her children imprisons her. There is no alternative. For the sake of her baby. She has exchange the spacious area of the forest for a type dark sale and cramped imprisonment. What does this mean it means that a mother has sacrifice her freedom, which is to fly. It means that she has sacrifice her independence to she's reduced to trusted absolutely in her mate look there's a slot in the wall she's constructed vertical gap exactly the shape of her beak. If the horn bill is to survive. She has to eat. She's going to eat her mate must bring the food and she will feed with peculiar intimacy to be through slot almost as she if she were an infant herself with the love of her children. Mother accepts the loss and reduction watcher watch that slot in the wall dung food goes in things complying out as well.
The horn bill is best tedious. She twisted her prison gangs backward and choose her waist to the world outside with the sting and accuracy in this way she keeps the nest immaculate.
Moreover, she can burn the bush baby peeping in you can change the mind of a monkey you don't snatch a meal but watcher for when the chicks are hatched and tender their mother fired one more thing from the slot and this is act that makes her so desperately love feathers one by one.
Her feathers fly all the slot, but these are not the down of her breasts, their longest strongest feather she has the feathers about which she flies in the small space of her nest. The shafts of these feathers will scratch in trouble. Her children. Therefore, extremist mercy, she strips her wings of their primary opinion.
The primary purpose, and she strips herself flight and what does that mean that a mother has sacrifice her very nature. For the sake of saving her children, thus, is the horn bill exquisite. She has become the very parable of love. Jesus fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables. Who is the horn bill whom does she signify read her as one sanctions Christians read the whole book of nature, the mind of God made visible. Tell me Christian who is she will. Who was it chose to leave the infinite sphere of heaven willingly compelled by love and along who do not himself celestial flight for the sake of the people who wall himself inside this narrow world in time and space in a little frame of place he might be a refuge for the weary, who diminished himself to dependency to a perfect prayerful infant dependency upon another, for the salvation of the people who felt himself so marvelously independent who plucked himself a power who sheared himself of his most glorious my is blind in radius list it harm us. We draw near to him to repeat himself and became an infant swallowed inhumanity cradled and would flightless bound to die who loved us that much, who loved us so purely by such a sacrifice.
Of course we are reading Christmas and awkward bird. Oh Jesus, born in her dark, reduced existence, O Savior, gentle and flesh beside me. You are the horn bill and though the cross is vile and engine of outrageous ugliness. You are not your beautiful. I love you Lord Christ and I want to fly. Let me sort of brightness again on your wing will carry me back to your heavens, and I will be free forever home, all and so and on and because of these all in line along and all eyes will all say a name and Silent Night, holy night all is calm, all is bright. Can you imagine what it must've been like night. Sometimes you read the Christmas story and have often wondered about that we read about the shepherds after the witnesses holy event around the countryside rejoicing and praising God.
I'm thinking it must been something like this shall all friend amazing event happened and I have to tell you about it. This, by the way, I am a shepherd in northern Judea little town of Bethlehem, and on this night just like every other night where watcher flock flock from the hillside, but this night was like no other night on this night.
An angel of the Lord came down we were scared never seen anything like this. But the angel said fear not for I bring you good tidings of great joy born to you this day is a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this will be assigned to you. You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger with that heavenly host came down and angels sing praise to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men and that is the most glorious side ever seen up to that point in my life until later. So when angels departed shepherds look around distantly never done before we left are flossed. We had to see this thing that Angel was talking about.
So we hurried down to Bethlehem got stable in their we found a young woman named Mary who just given birth and there was her husband, Carpenter, Joseph, and their lying in a manger, was long waiting sigh and that was most glorious side any of us had ever seen. We always believed that man go to heaven. But on this night got came to earth and the and all is soon so all I was saying is this so raise the would like to read this account of Christ's birth and it came to pass in those days that the decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered this census first took place while Aeneas was governor of Syria. So all went to be registered. Everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was at the house and lineage of David to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife with child, so it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered and she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the end. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night, and behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone round about, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will beat all people, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. So it was when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us and they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger now when they had seen him made widely known the sign which was told concerning this child and all who heard it marveled at those things which are told by the shepherd. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart than the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told I on was all on this and all will all I will on on all laws, laws and why is this is wrong and will I was you on on on all I on all all will Christmas lights the people drowning in darkness have seen a great night.
Matthew 416 light first word from the creator slips chosen above all to be the reflection of divinity for light is void feeling revelatory life nurturing and shadowed East sensual and pronounced good but at the first light of rebellion. The world fell to pieces becoming incomplete, missing perfection through jagged cracks of brokenness, sin slithered in killing spirits, hissing lies, defiling hearts the light is damned darkness. Rules it's raining evident in wars near and far. Famine and poverty. Flags of body and mind despair becomes the default emotion light though jammed still glimmers and waits waits for the fullness of time of blessing of God had in the very depth of night eternal life is born son is given perfection turns raining. Darkness refuses to surrender. No going silently into the night attempting taunting, lashing, piercing leaving victory is won. When light lays down his life three days he lives entombed in darkness, but even the grave cannot hold back the light once more radiance burst forth from the shadows. The MorningStar is risen, shining new light into hearts. Christmas is the season twinkling in Windows shimmering round trees, illuminating houses, the dark this winter is overcome by its brightness, bearing witness to the world that the true light has come all God laid into borrowed grave through the PD free 20 centuries have come and go, and he is a central figure of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched all the navies ever sailed all the parliaments that ever sat all the kings ever rain combined have not affected the life of man on earth as much is this one solitary life symbol with some your friends and family the way about is what what we talked about tonight's Christmas will receive the greatest gift of the world has ever known. And it was not wrapped in pretty paper with a bow on it and laid under tree was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. God loved us that much listlessness, go to him in prayer. Dear heavenly father, we are so thankful you loved us so much that you sent your son and were so thankful that he was willing to come down from the glories of heaven to be born in a lowly manger to be trapped inhumanly flesh and to live a life as as as a human is your creation, the creator living as creation on and went through all the struggles we go through was able to live the perfect life to become the perfect sacrifice to be willing to be beaten for a transgression bruise friend iniquities to be nailed to a cross to die and to write to rise three days later and to defeat Helen seen death to send in a heaven sent your right hand, intercede for us. God were so thankful that you loved us that much you a holy God wanted to be reconciled to us, sinful people and gave us a way to do that disbelieving hand would have a blessed life. We are so thankful and pray that will never forget that plate praise and glorify you in all things is in his precious thing we pray. Amen. So this Christmas. I want you to remember that he is reason for the season magic as you celebrate. Just remember that and we pray that God will bless you and your family this Christmas season throughout the year.
I God bless you good night. Merry Christmas