Christmas Message from Christ the King’s Christmas Eve Family Service
Ah, the joy of welcoming A New Member of the Family. The excitement leading up to it is extraordinary. So many preparations to be made! What doctors do you choose? What hospital do you choose? Do they have a TV, refrigerator, and free WIFI access in the delivery room? When will labor start? Will we make it to the hospital in time? (Ask me some time later about the story of my wife barely walking into the hospital only to have a child in her arms within 31 minutes!)
Then there is the actual labor and delivery. So much pain with such great reward! You’re holding a beautiful new human being in your arms! What do you name the child? Is the child healthy? Did it have to start crying already?
Then there is the adjustment to living with a new member of the family. If it’s the first child it’s treated like royalty (for a while). If it’s a sibling then everyone has to adjust to life with another child in the house.
Yet with all the hassle and hustle in adding A New Member of the Family, the joy of that new child, that new sibling, cannot be explained. Moms cry for joy. Dads sometimes even cry for joy and buy cigars for all their friends. Text messages and Facebook pictures fly out as fast as fingers can type. Everyone passes on the good news—a child is born.
Things were a lot different for Mary and Joseph. No select, top-notch doctors. No doctors or nurses at all! No hi-tech hospitals with spotless delivery rooms and a Neo NIC unit on call. An animal stable was the delivery location. No incubators or billi-beds. A manger was the first cradle. No Facebook or Twitter or texting. A few barnyard animals and some scrubby shepherds were the first witnesses.
A very humble scene, yet the joy of adding A New Member of the Family was still beyond extraordinary. Even the shepherds ran off to Go Tell It On the Mountain. They spread the word about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
So tonight we stand in such great awe and such great joy at the addition of this new member of the family. But it’s not just because of the unusual circumstances or setting of this birth. It’s not just because Mary gave birth without an epidural (though that always is impressive). We stand in awe and are filled with joy this evening because we have A New Member of the Family.
This child born in such a lowly and humble way was actually our great and mighty God. This child would go on to live a holy and perfect life—something we fail to do every single day. Not one sin, not ever. It was the perfect life we needed to take our place. But this holy God in human flesh would also go on to do the unimaginable—die for all of our sins. With his death our mighty God conquered death and the devil and forgave all of our sins.
By this life and death for us, Jesus made possible an unthinkable miracle—he made us to be children of God. Through Jesus, we are new members of God’s family!
So this Christmas we are filled with extraordinary excitement and joy. We peer into this manger and see this beautiful baby, born so meek and so mild. What a joy to see a new child enter this world! But even greater, this sweet child lying in a manger is no ordinary baby. Rejoice this Christmas, for this child is A New Member of the Family! He is our God, our Savior, and thus now our brother, Jesus Christ.
1st Sunday after Christmas
Christmastime is About Family
Text: Galatians 4:4-7
The stories and memories that come from Christmas are just priceless. Mothers cherish the moment that their daughter received her first pair of earrings. Fathers fondly recall the days they stayed up well beyond midnight putting every last sticker and decal on their son’s new toys. All of us can remember like yesterday that one surprise gift we got when we were little that made us do a little victory dance around the living room because we were so excited.
There are other memories that are more on the funny side. One Preschool dad told me the last week of school that they had recorded their entire Christmas experience on camcorder a few years ago, only to find that it was held upside down the entire time. Yesterday we were opening presents with Noah and the excitement on his face was precious. “Ooh! Buzz Lightyear crayons!” Then he tossed it quickly onto his pile and said, “Ooh, another one with my name on it!” Later in the day Becky had some bacon frying in the pan and forgot she left it in the pan. I walked out of the bedroom and wasn’t sure if the smoke detectors were going to go off or if the glory of the Lord had filled our kitchen.
But this is what we love about Christmastime. Christmastime is About Family. Christmastime is when we make memories with our families. It’s a time to cherish those we love and those that we are close to. It’s a time to be thankful for those that we call family. That’s what makes Christmas so special. Christmastime is About Family. Read the rest of this entry