Brothers and sisters,
Merry Christmas to all! I pray you have a wonderful day as you celebrate “God Came Down.” Jesus, God the Son Himself left the glory of heaven to be born in a barn and save us from our sin. Yesterday was fantastic as we worship and were challenged by Nate Ray, sermon, “The Christmas Story: In the Middle of a Mess” Nate wrote:
Oftentimes because many of us are so familiar with the Christmas story, and it can feel sentimental and nostalgic. We need fresh eyes to see it anew with all of its shock value. We need to remember the Christmas story wasn’t nice and clean and tidy, but that Jesus was born in the middle of a mess. Jesus’ kingdom comes as Jesus came: in the middle of a mess.
When we look at the Nativity, the Nativity not only pictures Jesus’ birth: the nativity pictures the way of Jesus, the way Jesus’ kingdom breaks into our lives, the way Jesus’ kingdom breaks into our world, and Jesus’ very methods. It is not just serendipitous that this happens to be how Jesus was born. This is God’s chosen entry point into our world, and when you look at Jesus’ life and ministry, and then the ministry of his earliest followers, you see this is the gospel story! God plops right down, in the middle of the mess; the mess of the world and the mess of our lives.
When darkness looks as if it has won the day; when the powers seem their most powerful; when hope seems the furthest away, light enters – unnoticed with the exception of those on the margins of society – born to poor parents, in a place where no respectable child would ever be born.
In the darkness, light enters, His name is Jesus, and He changed and is changing the world.
“In (Jesus) was life, and that life is the light to all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
THIS is the good news of the gospel!
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming and meeting us in our darkness and our mess and continually bringing Your life and light to us!
Next Sunday, December 31st, we will only have a worship service at 10:30 AM.
Love being your pastor this Christmas!
Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church