Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Christmas Sermon...

So, you are reading this post, even though I stated upfront in the title that it's a sermon. You do know what a sermon is, don't you? It's a lesson, I guess. This one will have religious tones- and hopefully will make you pause and think for a moment afterward. Keep in mind that I do not hold a theology degree- but have read much of the Bible and try to live according to its principles. I have a personal relationship with God...but I still make mistakes, sin (at least once everyday!), I don't have all the answers and I even question why certain things happen to me and my family. If you still want to read my "sermon"- here it is. [Taken from a Christmas letter I sent out in 1999. Some of you might recall it. My daughter, Teagan, was 2 and a 1/2 at the time.]

As I pulled out a moss-covered nativity scene to use as part of my holiday decorations Teagan exclaimed, "Oooo- a clubhouse! Baby Jesus is in a clubhouse!" I laughed at her excitement and told her that it was not exactly a clubhouse, but a stable. Like a barn. Over the past few days I kept thinking why? Why a dusty stable? God chose to have Jesus born there. It was no accident.
Here are my random thoughts as to why: 1) God chose a stable so that His Son could touch all people. Think about it- if Jesus had been born in a beautiful palace, would the Shepherds have been able to see Him? God would have excluded those people who think that they're not good enough or rich enough to receive Jesus.
2) On the otherhand, God wasn't out to impress anyone. God did not need to prove His worth in order that certain persons would accept Him. Remember the Christmas story? Not only did the Shepherds come to see Jesus in the manger, but the King sent the Wise Men too. God wants our salvation to come out of our love for His Son...not on what we might receive. Although accepting Jesus makes one a child of the King, it's because of a relationship- not a monetary inheritance.
3) A stable is a very humble birthplace. God offered His Son in such a humble manner- which shows the magnitude of His grace. We don't deserve salvation, as we all have sinned, yet God sent Jesus to us with no strings attached. He just asks that we believe in Him. So, the stable, rather than a clubhouse or a palace makes the most sense. God offers His Son to us, not based on wealth or to a limited membership with lots of rules, purely because He loves us. And I believe that's what the true spirit of Christmas means. God gave His greatest gift- Jesus, not wanting or expecting anything in return, but simply because He is Love.
With so much commercialization that this holiday season offers, it's only appropriate that we should take a moment and pause to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. What an amazing thought- that Jesus is a gift of love from God to you! Enjoy the true miracle of the season this year.


krisT said...

Jody~ Wow, that's so beautiful! I guess I never thought of it like that before.. How true. If Jesus was born in a fancy schmancy palace then the Wise Men probably wouldn't have visited Him..

Thank you for opening my mind..

I agree that Christmas is EXTREMELY commercialized!! It makes me sick to my stomach..

Shelley Rankin said...

wow Jody your thoughts are so on the mark. Thanks for sharing your insight!!