Christmas Day 2007 – Luke 2:8-20

We live in a world where the remarkable has become the norm.  What was unreal is now real; what we seen as impossible is now possible.

Who would have thought you could cook food until it is boiling hot without some sort of heating element and then be able to touch the bowl or plate the food is cooked in.  The microwave is indeed remarkable.

Who would have thought we could store whole libraries with thousands of books into a space the size of a match box.  Impossible, yet it is being done.

Who would have thought we could walk around in the outback while talking to friends on the other side of the world; seems unreal, yet it is real because of the mobile phone.

The remarkable has become the norm and nothing seems to really amaze us anymore.  Perhaps if we were the shepherds in the fields today, and suddenly a great company of angels came praising God in the heavens, we might say ‘O yeah, saw something like that on the Matrix movie’ and go on looking after the sheep…from home using webcam that is!

The miraculous, the awesome, the incredible wonder of Christmas is often lost in our own self importance.  With the advances in technology, the baby Jesus is a little old hat; a little mundane.  That is of course, until we realize we are not the centre of creation, we are not as big, or as important as we think we are.  Take a look at a clip from a DVD called ‘indescribable’

When we put ourselves, our efforts and our ego into perspective; into proportion the works and wonders of God, then we begin to see the real miracle of Christmas.  It is when we realize how big God is and how small we are, do we begin to see the wonder of Christmas and join with the psalmist ‘When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?’  This is the miracle of Christmas, that God should love us some much that he would send his own Son into the world as our saviour; that Jesus would leave his home and come to us.

This fact is not lost on heaven’s angels, even they are astounded at this wonder and come together to sing God’s praises ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests;’  so excited where they, that the heavenly hosts leave their home and joined Jesus on earth and sang his praises there.  On Christmas day the impossible became the possible; that all of Heaven would fill the earth; that God would come and live among us, born as a baby and lying in a manger.

The shepherds never lost sight of this, the lowly and least in society are first to hear and are astounded at the angel’s announcement that God would come into the world.  So much so, that they too, together with the angels, leave their homes and join Jesus to sing his praises.  The unreal becomes the real; That God and man are once again together.  This happening is so amazing to the shepherds that they stay only a short time.  They are eager to go and tell others about this miracle.

And today?  Are there still people like the shepherds staying only a while in church with Jesus, to then leave in a hurry and in joy to tell others about the miracle?  Are you amazed that God, the creator of the heavens and earth, whose hands formed the dry land, would do such a thing as leave his home and enter ours; to become one of us, to save us from our sins?  Yes, I know you are.

Even today, some 2000 years later, we have not lost sight of this wonder.  In fact, the more we discover about the world and the enormity of the universe, the more we admire the complexities of creation and how sin is destroying everything, including us, the more we realize that God has done far more that any microwave, any computer or any mobile phone could ever do; sure they may have changed the world; God changed eternity.

On that first Christmas Jesus was born, and on that day the remarkable be came the norm.  From that day on, we as sinners have God living among us.  Through Jesus he is righting the wrongs, reclaiming his own and bringing from the dead those who were once lost forever.  Today is indeed a day to join Mary and ponder all these things in our heart; ponder how remarkable, how unreal and how impossible God is to make this happen.
Amen

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