By Dr. Marvin McKenzie
Heartland Baptist Bible College
Text: Luke 2:20
Introduction: One of the things
I like so much about the Christmas season is how so many
people's attentions are focused upon Christ. People come from far and wide to celebrate Christmas. There is lots of travelling going on. And people who never attend church the rest of the year make it to services during the Christmas season!
Maybe that first Christmas WAS something like what we see! They had the angels singing, so the air was filled with Christmas music. They had the shepherds visiting, kind of like local friends dropping by. And they had the Wise men coming in from out of town, they did not make it in time for Christmas, but they got there for the same reason! Kind of like when we go to visit family in other cities, and we don't get there for Christmas, but we do show up around that time of year!
But let me point out to you an interesting little note!
Luke 2:20 records for us, that after the shepherds had visited the baby, THE SHEPHERDS RETURNED! In fact, if you think about it, for most everybody, life got back to normal after that first Christmas day!
The shepherds returned to their flocks; The angels silenced their singing The Wise Men made the long trip BACK HOME. And it seems like everybody forgot about that Holy Night! So much so, that we do not even know for sure what day Christ was really born! The shepherds returned as did everybody else, ALL EXCEPT MARY AND JOSEPH!
Now, here is the premise for this evening's message....
When Christmas is over this year, will you simply return to life as normal, perhaps praising God for the chance to celebrate Christmas, but really, none different than you were before? Or will you, like Mary and Joseph have your lives radically changed by Christmas?
All of us who have had children know, THE BIRTH OF A BABY
CHANGES OUR LIVES FOREVER!
A person can never be the same after they have had a child born into their family! And while, when a baby is born, many people come to see the little child, visit the hospital, bring some flowers, or perhaps a small gift, and huge a coddle the little thing a second or two. ONLY THE PARENTS COME AWAY BEING TOTALLY CHANGED FOR THE BIRTH!
And I was wondering tonight, When we consider our visit with Christ this Christmas, will we come away more like those who stop by a few minutes to see the baby, and then go on with life as normal? Or will we be more like those parents, whose lives are never again the same because of the birth?
I. MARY AND JOSEPH NEVER DID RETURN FROM SEEING JESUS!
A. That Christmas night when they
first met saw Jesus,
was for them only the beginning! From then on, every night,
for the rest of their lives, they were with Jesus Christ!
B. They did have to leave Bethlehem,
but they took Christ with them!
We know, for instance, that they moved from Bethlehem to Egypt.
And they then moved from Egypt to Nazareth.. But they never moved
without taking Jesus with them!
C. And there was one time, when
they slipped up and left Christ
behind in Jerusalem.
But as soon as they realized He was missing they immediately went to find Him! This Christmas, millions, of people will come to worship and see Jesus. But the greatest majority will simply leave saying "That's nice!" And go on with life as usual. It will be only the few who having seen Jesus Christ, determine never to leave His side again!
When we have to move or whatever, we make sure to get back into a local church, where we can keep Christ with us! And when we do occasionally get sidetracked and misplace the lord in our lives, make a beeline back to Him as soon as we figure it out!
For Joseph and Mary, Christmas was more than a once a year celebration, It was a day by day reality!
II. MARY AND JOSEPH NURTURED THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!
A. Raising Children is a growing experience!
Anyone who has raised children knows the truthfulness of this. You grow up almost as much as the child does! For one thing, YOU HARDLY KNOW THE CHILD THAT FIRST DAY YOU BRING HIM INTO THE HOUSE!
You have to get to know that kid growing up in your home... AND THE TRUTH IS, YOU NEVER KNOW THEM FULLY!
As they grow up, they change, and so do you, so your relationship requires almost constant care to make sure you really know them!
B. You have to learn how to be a parent.
So hopefully you are always improving in that area too! While the shepherds returned to their flocks... Mary and Joseph stayed there, responsible for the rest of their lives to nurture and develop their relationship with Jesus Christ!
The same is true with our relationship with Christ.
We get to know Him only a little the day we are first introduced to Him
as our Saviour! We are glad for the relationship, to know we are going
BUT WE HARDLY KNOW CHRIST REALLY AND WE KNOW ALMOST NOTHING ABOUT HOW TO LIVE PLEASING TO HIM! And even after we have gotten it figured out a little bit, We never in this live obtain a place where we know all we need to know about our relationship with Jesus Christ!
There are many many Christians, who to tell you the truth,
I can find no fault in except for this one thing.
THEY AREN'T GROWING ANYMORE IN CHRIST! They know a certain amount about Christ, they are happy with what they know, AND THEY AREN'T INTERESTED IN KNOWING ANY MORE!
Mary and Joseph spent not only Christmas, but the rest of their lives growing in their relationship with Jesus!
III. MARY KEPT ALL THAT JESUS SAID AND WAS SAID ABOUT JESUS IN HER HEART.
Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth,
and was subject unto
them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
In the one verse Mary kept all that was said about Jesus in her heart and pondered them, in the other she kept all that Jesus said in her heart. Can you see the significance here? The others just visited the baby, rejoiced and celebrated a while, and went back home. Mary and Joseph took all that was said and done both about Jesus and by Jesus Kept them, and pondered them in their hearts. They were changed forwever by the words spoken by Jesus AND THE WORDS SPOKEN ABOUT JESUS!
Here we are this Christmas night, and I wonder what kind of crowd we all are? Are we like the shepherds, and the Wise men, who came to see Jesus, but then returned to their own lives? Or are we like Mary and Joseph, for whom, Christmas was only the beginning of a radical new way of life, and thought! Who never left Jesus? Who nurtured their relationship with Christ? And who kept all that was said by and about Jesus and pondered in their hearts?
to Sermon Index