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December 28, 2020 12:00 am
Peace on earth will come one day, but we can have it now in our lives. Paul would say this way. In Romans chapter 5 verse one.
Therefore, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have accepted the sacrifice of the sovereign Lord. Those who have believed in him.
Finding their merit in him alone. This peace treaty signed with God now in our lives and hearts, we can day is now behind us, but I hope the joy of celebrating the incarnation lingers in your heart today. Stephen Davey has what I think will be a fun message for you. In fact, if there are children nearby. I encourage you to gather them around as well because they can participate in what's about to happen today. Stephen is giving a quiz about Christmas.
What did the innkeeper really say where did the wise men come to visit Jesus. What is murder what infamous world leader outlawed the word Christmas you're ready to test your Christmas knowledge. Your statement, one of the things I love about the Christmas season is the opportunity to deepen our appreciation for the humility of the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, observed in his incarnation. I feared the Christmas story office so polished and cleaned up that we would recognize the real scene if it were enacted in front of us. The truth is the original Christmas scene was actually a desperate filthy scene with two teenagers. More than likely delivering their firstborn in a stone cut out of the hillside. I thought we do something a little different. I threaten you often that I would give you a tester you need to remember that for the quiz or whatever. Thought I'd give you a quiz today when I can grade it will grade and immediately actually in you can find that what you did. Your membership is not at risk said don't worry about that question number one. As we review the scene together briefly. According to the biblical record. Joseph and Mary travel about them on a camel and a wooden card in a Volkswagen address that's an easy when your your your to know that's not the real answer a lot since of that old Gordon D Joseph walked and Mary rode a donkey right.
None of the above, I tricked you this is going be fun.
I'm going to enjoy every bit of this, I have already this the above, the Bible merely records for us in Luke chapter 2 that Joseph went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem in order to register with Mary, was engaged to him and was with chopped were not told how I got there, all upon what the road it's possible that both Mary and Joseph were too poor to want a mule. Joseph was a carpenter, literally and in the likes of what we could think of today as a migrant worker. More than likely they both walked when they finally arrived in Bethlehem.
Question number two. The innkeeper's actual words to Joseph and Mary were whining. You make a reservation to be please use my stable see there is no room for you in the end, none of the above KI will trick you anymore.
At least I don't think I will buy my later answers.
None of the above, the Bible simply informs us that there was no room for them in the fact there is no innkeeper mentioned there's no one there to turn them away. More than likely when they they arrived to 7000 service of lean over and they probably observed all of the travelers heading back to their home towns for the census this taxation. The decree of Caesar and the roads were swelled with people packed every even though dad was back. They probably got there without even going up to the door of her knocking at the door they observed the courtyard spilling over with people, there is no room in the back of that door and gave her gets the job of the Christmas story I read about what you are to put on the children's Christmas play. Use special needs kids that the innkeeper had down syndrome. This little boy he was to play the role of the innkeeper in the moment finally arrived where Joseph and Mary exhausted arrived in town. They knock on the door and he came to the door and opened it on Q everything was going along perfectly. Joseph little Joseph explain their pitiful situation a little Mary there any ended as he was supposed to do with the question. Can we have a room in the innkeeper was simply supposed to say what were full. Use the stable but he was so engrossed in the scene that after pausing a moment. He said were full. But you can have my room that great that you got it right. What a great answer. Frankly, ladies and gentlemen be in Bethlehem does remain to this day, a powerful metaphor for the human heart hearts in our world today would have hanging upon them assigned delivering a message to God that basically says sorry, no can say is no room. Is there room for Jesus Christ in your heart today. Well Mary. As you know delivers the baby in the stable, although that would be a trick question were never told there was a stable worldly were just told she delivers the child. The only clue that seems to inform us that there is probably some kind of stable is the fact that after Jesus was born a later middle what in a manger. What exactly was that manger.
Here's another question. It was a a wooden cradle be in a hammock, or see it was a feed trough your freedom as a none of the above are two though it was a feed trough. This time you got it right.
It might have been out of the open. Many scholars believe that this stable was nothing more than a hollowed out cave in a hillside common in those days were right some form of sheltered and they placed Jesus in this manger Fontaine is the Greek word, it simply means trough literally part of the wall and they would put in the grain, or perhaps the hay is cozy warm comfortable. Pick sure you have is with adoring animals, evening that halos you seen that right will those work photographs that you saw those were paintings. Most of these skilled painters from the middle centuries, especially were on the payroll of the church and most of them provide this kind of scene which ultimately dehumanizes Jesus it it takes away dank, dark, smelly arena where the Lord came sovereign was born. This was a large, confusing, painful will only see their hearts would have been filled with courage, with joy at the coming of some of the first visitors evidently were told there were some arriving. The Angels fill the heavens and delivered a message to the shepherds, but think carefully for a moment how many angels ask questions spoke to the shepherds, a heavenly host be one angel see none.
The answer is B one angel Luke two verse 10 the angel said to them, don't be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. Today in the city of David is been born for your Savior's Chrysler. Only one moment he's joined with the hosts of heaven, that's where you get 100 million. Perhaps angels burst into the scene. Here are the lyrics of their singing verse 14 glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is well pleased that he angel gave the shepherds a clue to identify the Savior. Here's another question deciding the shepherds were look for in identifying the Messiah lies a Christmas tree be three wise men or see a baby lying in a feed trough.
Okay, the answer is C right baby lying in a manger or a or a feed truck. How can that be a sign. Surely there were other babies born in Bethlehem, maybe even this night, but no other baby would be potentially in the open, lying in a feed trough surrounded by flyers in the dank darkness of that hillside cave in and the smell of manure. So much so that this could be the sign they could miss it. And so after wrapping them with strips of cloth. They swaddled him literally, they they laid him in the feed trough exercise shepherds, the Messiah, the glorious has been born in. Here's the sign that you can know you found them. He's a newborn baby you trough imagined Matthews gospel records for us that other visitors are on the way led by the brilliance of God's glory translated us stay or star who saw the star in the East. Let's ask that question. The shepherds be three kings from oriented or see astrologers living in Persia see astrologers living in perjury need to understand these were the Magi.
That's the word he gives us the word magic or magician quite a bit of a cultic mysticism wrapped up in these wise men, but they were more than that.
The ancient Greek writer, historian Herodotus informs us that the Magi were responsible for personally training the heir to the throne.
They were the professors of this generation. These were the professors of the arts and sciences Lane mathematics no king can ascend the throne in the kingdom without mastering the disciplines and receiving the blessing and the approval of the Magi, the most distinguished Magi to Linden Persia. Of course, was a believing Jew named Daniel who had it is disposal and for his use.
The Torah certainly the profits he had learned he had believed he would give prophecy of the coming second advent of the Messiah in the kingdom to come with were not studying the book of Revelation.
He would live out his faith in that kingdom in such a way that many would believe with them.
The book of numbers informed him at us in chapter 24 that is star austerity Septuagint would rise as it were in the sky would rise from Jacob, signifying that the scepter would not believe them.
That is, the king would come that were stair can be translated brilliance or glory. This was the light, the stair that guided the people of Israel the Shekinah glory as they journey to the wilderness. Exodus 1321.
This was the light that made the face of Moses shine after he visited and saw the glory of God.
Exodus 34. This was the brilliant lights of the resurrected Lord. He knocks Saul off the horse, as he traveled on the Damascus Road acts chapter 9. This was the vision of John the apostle as he saw the light on the face of Christ shining like the sun is you in Revelation chapter 1 verse 16. The star was actually the light. The Shekinah brilliance of God. How else to explain its disappearance. When the Magi arrived in Jerusalem.
How else to explain that it suddenly reappeared with a ('s palace. How else to explain that it literally hovered or stood as it were over the very place where the child was the Magi believing descendents of Daniel's faith professors from the ancient kingdom of Persia had arrived to give their blessing to the air to the throne in Israel by the way the church developed the myth of three wise men, probably because they brought three significant gifts goal representing royalty frankincense representing the high priestly function of intercession from the law. Jesus was both royalty. He was the high priest and then the third gift which was the oddest of all to give a child that Jesus was probably more interested in the boxes that he was the gifts is murder. Here's another question for you murder was used. A mixing drinks to relieve pain or greed to involve the dead or see both C does not get easier. All the answers or see this point. Murder would be used to to mixing drinks to deaden pain was also used to create that sticky substance that would be rolled into the folds or the wrappings of the shroud. This gift symbolically foretold the suffering and death of the Messiah infected every member of the outset of the crucifixion as they arrived at the hill.
Jesus was was offered drink mixed with murder. Mark's gospel tells us that he what he refused to drink it. He refused to deaden the pain. He certainly didn't want to model his mind. He had some very important things to say that like it is finished.
That is the penalty of your sin is now paid in full. He would commune with his father. He would make plans for marriage. Evidently Joseph is already died. Hill, I visited the least of which was to pardon one of the criminals in Protestant paradise, so he refuse that later on he was offered a drink of sour wine which he received in a few moments later died. There could be little doubt that this gift of murder was significant.
Certainly, to Mary and Joseph knowing he was given, to remind that he was born to die.
He the King of heaven who had everything gave it all up on virtually nothing borrowed everything I was sent some words of poetry by missionaries and serving faithfully for many years.
Emily entitled the borrower. I thought it summarized well at. I want to put it in here reading some of the line owner of the whole creation fashion world's with butter word yet he borrows now a manger for his entrance to his world for a little while he borrows and returns it back again rides above the earth is sovereign on the wings of Tempest wind. Yet he borrows now a donkey to reveal himself as king for little while he borrowed the returns it back again ever living one eternal sinless holy, pure is a lie that he borrows now crossed to die as a lamb, and darkest night for a little while he borrows then returned back again cries in sorrow, interceding, stripped of clothing is sold, betrayed, dead. He borrows now a tomb in which his broken body lays for a little while, then returned back to taking on our flesh in nature, son of God and Son of Man mighty Jesus Lord of heaven second Adam grade. I am still a man. Yes ma'am now forever takes our form eternally rids our souls of sin and fixes evermore with him to be bendable things he borrowed. He returned them one by one, all except my sins great Savior.
These are gone.
My soul is one let me shift gears and ask you some questions relative do a little more recent history is a question for you. Christmas was not officially celebrated until the early fourth century. True false answers. True, the actual date of December 25 comes from a Roman pagan festival during the season. There were several of them. One festival celebrated their belief that the sonnet not been conquered yet again for another year. That spring would soon arrive. The celebration was called Saturnalia. It was nothing less than a drunken orgy but also involve the giving of gifts to one another and the decorating of Evergreen trees on December 25. The Romans celebrated the birth of Ms. Ross and their pantheon is of the gods to keep up with them but this one was supposedly the God of light.
This was the birth of this particular God's was Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and A.D. 336. The early part of the fourth century, Emperor Constantine took that day used by the Romans to celebrate the birth of their god of light, to signify the birth true and living God, who is the light of the world, which I thought.
I still do think it was a master stroke of his. All of these icons. Some of them found their way into the Christmas tradition vectors. Another question for you Christmas trees. Mistletoe Ivy and Holly were all taken icons, the answer is true. I think it's fascinating to be living in an era not unlike the fourth century, and for that Christmas can either be a pagan celebration or Christian celebration. Depending on what you choose to do with whatever icons you choose to have that the Puritans would have nothing of this day. By the way America that they made it illegal to celebrate December 25 and I knew people were celebrating so they decided in 1664 to enact a law that made it illegal to to bake, mince pie, make plum pudding on Christmas day was illegal to to do that is what you think everybody did. They made that stuff on Christmas Eve so they could eat it on Christmas day. Frankly, our culture is riddled with pagan icons, even the days of our week are named after Roman gods. Do you use the name Monday or Friday, a day we save a little differently with those in honor of God's false gods. The question is do you use Monday, our friend, the question is what you do on those days. On those days. The question isn't do you celebrate Christmas and have a trade exchange gives the question is why what you want to communicate with that is uses a pagan celebration, or does it have significant meaning for this one we believe was the light of the world. The apostle Paul made it clear in Romans 14 regarding these gray areas of life, he said. Whoever observes the day, be fully convinced in your own mind. Whatever day it is observant for the Lord and give thanks to God. I think Christmas is a wonderful day for the believer to uniquely exalt the birth of our Savior, to give thanks to God for this redemptive plan of salvation which included such a humble birth I would agree with the action of Martin Luther. You probably aware of his. He took, he took the Evergreen any attached globe candles to it. Decorating history to signify Jesus Christ who is truly the light of the world you haven't noticed sure you have the world is really like the idea of Christmas revealing the truth of Christ, though, doesn't it would rather remain strictly pagan is another question for you in more recent history. In 1936 out of Hitler outlaw the word Christmas exchange it with the word Yuletide true. He also outlawed Christmas hymns as well.
Sounds eerily familiar is our generation continues to digress away from the truth. Christ is it any wonder then an arm in our modern Western world, what the answer to the next question would be is the question the month with the highest suicide rate is January's false it's December, one author wrote the Christmas season is marked by deeper emotional strain, greater anxiety, more acts of violence part of our security team is Sheriff was walking me backstage here before this hour, and he said this is just an unbelievable season all crime, all of the domestic violence. This author said the stress of the holiday, the depressing weight of loneliness added to that meaninglessness of mindless revelry make the holiday utterly intolerable for so many people.
Isn't it interesting that when the Angels did break out of their doxology before the shepherds Luke records. Their words went like this. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and most people put. There is no peace on earth with a nearly 2000 treaties since the birth of Christ that I understand from reading history that the average lifespan of a treaty is less than 90 treaty. One author said is when both sides simply stop and reload. There was no peace in Bethlehem the day the echoing of the Angels about the hillsides of Bethlehem that the Savior was born with. Within a matter of months turned into the echoing sound of weeping and wailing and crying of bereaved mothers and fathers with the slaughter of their little boys seat significant to understand the rest of that text. The rest of the text says this glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom God is pleased there is peace in the heart of the one who is in fellowship with God the father through Jesus Christ to those who accept the Savior came and died and rose again.
There's peace back.
Paul would say this way. Romans chapter 5 verse one. Therefore, we have peace with God even lower now on earth. We can have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have accepted the sacrifice of the sovereign Lord are pleasing to God. That doesn't mean we have to have a good week or a good day somehow. Now we have earned his pleasure.
Though this is related to the peace treaty in the in the dying of Christ and the perfected life giving sacrifice of Christ. Those who have believed in him. Finding their merit in him alone.
This peace treaty signed with God now on earth in our lives and hearts, we can have peace.
The only way. Peace on earth will come one day, but we can have it now in our lives as we believe this Lamb of God came down across the sins of the world arising her date was said the father were intercedes for those who claim his sacrifice. Is there full and final payment for sin. What is your piece connected to what do you hope to make God no longer your enemy and you know long. What is it you're claiming to bring you out of those who are condemned already jumped 3 cents and those who have life everlasting can only be this one and that heart that understanding of this. One who died for them that individual can have the peace of God which passes all understanding, peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. I hope that you and the people you love experience that peace today. You're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. The office staff are off today and all this week as they spent some extended time celebrating with their families.
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