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A Time for Salvation

Luke 2:11

Quick One-Liners

*Christmas: When you exchange hellos with strangers and good buys with friends.

*Christmas is the time when people put so many bulbs on the outside of their houses, you don’t know if they’re celebrating the birth of Jesus or General Electric.

*Do you know what it is like to put up fifteen hundred Christmas lights on the roof of a house? The kids are giving two to one I’m gonna come down the chimney before Santa Claus does.

*Every Christmas pageant throughout the world has a scene showing Joseph leading Mary into Bethlehem on a donkey. Do you realize what would happen if the Republicans asked for equal time? *Sometimes I get the feelin that if Christmas, Father’s Day and birthdays did not exist, then aftershave too, would not exist.

Last week we talked about why, for Christians, that Christmas should be the biggest party time of the year. Think about those shepherds! They had heard for years from their parents and grandparents that a ‘messiah’ was coming from God…and they were the first to hear that it was happening. Think about the prophets of that time that were intently waiting. Think about the Rabbis who had told that story over and over…the story of Micah 5…and now they get to tell their new students that IT HAS HAPPENED! This was party time! Do we party like our lives depend on it?

How do we celebrate when we’ve finally lost 20lbs? How do we celebrate when that credit card is paid off? How do we celebrate when one of our kids or friends graduate? Think about the parties we’ve all been to. Pictures are up. Balloons, streamers and signs hang from the ceiling. Cakes, cupcakes and goodies are all prepared. Do we celebrate Jesus birth like that? Well, maybe we don’t do the lights outside or the streamers around the kitchen. But, do we celebrate the birth of Jesus?

Here’s what they were celebrating. Salvation. Luke 2:11 states, “11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.” Think of what that word means. Savior. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to the people you lead? Is it just someone we come to a building once a week to learn about? Is it just someone who’s life makes for poetic songs that we sing once a week? I really hope not….but I’ve carried that attitude before. For those guys, surrounded by sheep when the angel spoke, it was LIFE.

I like what Rick Warren writes, “The answer to your problem is not a place, a program or a pill. It’s not jumping into another relationship. The answer to your sin problem and to your dissatisfaction in life is Jesus Christ. You need a savior.”

Remember the story of the runaway son? If you don’t, you can reread Luke 15. The son (prodigal son) had made the decision to leave the family (pride) and go out on his own (selfishness). He thought he was smarter (arrogance) and could make it on his own (supreme independence). He found that he couldn’t (realization). He struggled (realization of sin/guilt). He made a decision to give up on himself and go back to dad (repentance). Salvation came with a bear hug. Salvation for the world came with a birth-day. There may have been a coniferous tree nearby. And at one point in time there were probably gifts. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t blinking lights, unless you count the stars in the sky. But there was a party…because a savior had come from Heaven. The world could now start the process of being made new again (Revelation 21:5). The one who will beat sin…He will erase the ‘space’ between creation and God…is now here!

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