Dear brothers & sisters, the fascination of Christmas has a strange magical power even for the unbelieving and seemingly secularised world that as tried to empty it of its TRUE meaning.
Why is this???
Well my dear brother, the real magic of Christmas is not in gifts and goodies, new toys and familiar traditions, indoor cosiness and outdoor snow.
What lies at the heart of Christmas is the most stunning and significant fact in the history of the world --- That GOD HIMSELF became ONE OF US.
1. FIRST HE CAME FROM HEAVEN
The glory of Christmas is not that it marks the birth of some great religious leader, but that it celebrates the long anticipated coming of God Himself.
As Micah 5v2 tells us ...... "But you O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf."
And so when God reveals Himself on that first Christmas. It is NOT in a cloud or wind or fire or earthquake or even simply in a still small voice.
NO instead, Philippians 2v7 tells us ...... "He gave up His divine privileges, He took the humble position of a slave and was born a human being."
SECONDLY, WE SEE THAT HE CAME AS A SERVANT
My dear brother, it's wonderful enough that He came down at all.
But when He did, He came in poverty, in weakness and humility.
As Luke 9v58 tells us ...... "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of man had no place even to lay His head."
And the Jesus that the disciples knew day in and day out on the roads of Galilee learned first hand that what Mark 10v45 tells us ..... "For even the son of man came not to be served, but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many."
SO THIRDLY, HE CAME AND WENT ALL THE WAY TO HIS DEATH
It was one thing to wash his disciples feet in the upper room.
It was another thing to rise from supper, lead them out to the garden, wait in agony for his captors and walk alone, the literally excruciating path that led Him to Calvary.
As Philippians 2v8 reminds us that ...... "When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and He died a criminal's death on a cross."
FINALLY, WHY DID HE COME - TO RESCUE YOU AND ME
To bring us back to God.
That was the purpose and in offering that ultimate sacrifice He showed us the very heart of LOVE.
As Romans 5v8 reminds us that ....... "God showed His GREAT LOVE for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were STILL SINNERS."
My dear brother, the magic of Christmas is not just that God Himself came from heaven as a man and it is not just that He humbled Himself as a servant to meet the needs of others.
And it's not even just that He came to die in obedience, all the way to Calvary.
The magic is that He came and did all that to RESCUE YOU AND ME.
Which leads us back to Matthew 1v21 ....... "and she will have a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins"
He came not to supply us with bells and whistles of a commercial Christmas.
He came so that He could bring us BACK TO GOD.
As Colossians 1v22 concludes ....... "This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now He as reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result He has brought you into His own presence, and you ARE HOLY AND BLAMELESS as you stand before Him without a single fault."
HOW WONDERFUL IS THAT!!!!