George Whitefield, an outstanding evangelist and preacher in the 1700’s, said in his sermon on “The true Way of Keeping Christmas”:
Did Jesus come into the world to save us from death, and shall we spend no part of our time in conversing about our dear Jesus; shall we pay no regard to the birth of him, who came to redeem us from the worst of slavery, from that of sin, and the devil; and shall this Jesus not only be born on our account, but likewise die in our stead, and yet shall we be unmindful of him?
Shall we spend our time in those things which are offensive to him? Shall we not rather do all we can to promote his glory, and act according to his command?
O my dear friends, be found in the ways of God; O be not so ungrateful to him who has been so kind to you! What could the Lord Jesus Christ have done for you more than he has?
Then do not abuse his mercy, but let your time be spent in thinking and talking of the love of Jesus, who was incarnate for us, who was born of a woman, and made under the law, to redeem us from the wrath to come.
Every year TIME magazine names a person of the year. It is the person they consider had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year. The Person of the Year 2016 is Donald Trump, as they say on the cover, “President of the Divided States of America”.
What’s astonishing is that is that this real estate baron and casino owner, who became a reality-TV star, who never spent a day in public office, is now president-elect of the USA.
Donald Trump lives in the Penthouse on 3 floors in the very expensive and upmarket Trump Towers in New York overlooking Central Park. And yet he won the hearts of the American working class who could never ever afford this kind of luxury.
It’s astonishing. And yet it’s true.
Christianity is also astonishing and true as it makes an astonishing claim; a true claim we celebrate every Christmas. In fact, it is a blasphemous claim; if it were not true: Christianity claims that the man Jesus was and is God. Christianity claims that Jesus Christ was fully human with flesh and bones; and he was also fully God.
Did you know that nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus was born in a stable? In fact, a stable-birth seems highly improbable when taking into account what the text actually says and Middle Eastern hospitality.