Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Who is the Baby?, Christmas

We gather here today to recall and celebrate what Christmas is truly about.
I would like, very simply, to focus ourselves on the question of WHO the baby in the manger was, and why it should matter to us.

The baby’s birth was heralded by angels, shepherds came and worshiped, and a star guided wise men from the east to find Him.
These are not normal things to happen when a baby is born.
This was not an ordinary baby.
When He grew up, He would work miracles:
He would heal the sick and raise the dead;
He would walk on water and calm the storms.
He would, teach so powerfully that crowds of thousands would flock to hear Him.

This baby was born for a purpose.
Let me note three aspects of His purpose, three aspects of WHO the baby is:

First, He was born to be your friend.
There is a loneliness in the human heart that seeks to be satisfied.
There is a loneliness in the human heart that even the turkey and feasting of today can’t ignore.
This child was born for you, born to be your friend,
Born to be your companion in both your difficulties and your joys.
He was born in rejection, in a stable because there was no room in the inn.
So, when you feel dejected, He can be the friend who know your trails.
He brought, repeatedly, “joy”(Lk 2:10 e.g. Lk 19:6) to those who met Him.
So, when you feel joys, He can be the one you share those with.
He was born to be your friend.

But, more than this, His is not a friendship of equals: He was also born to be your king.
Let us note what the angels said at His birth:
The angels emphasised that He was born in Bethlehem, “the town of David”(Lk 2:11), a descendent of David, “of David’s House and line”(Lk 2:4).
David was the greatest king of the Old Testament, the greatest king of God’s chosen people.
This was baby was descended from him, thus, this baby was born to be king.
This baby was born to be YOUR King.

Friend, king, but more still: He was and is GOD:
The Lord and Creator of the cosmos sought to reach down and enter His Creation.
The Lord and Creator of the cosmos made us, made humans as the pinnacle of His work, and had a plan to unite us to Himself:
to unite us to Himself by becoming one of us, by taking flesh as a baby in Bethlehem.

A final point: All this calls for a response from us.
If He has come to be your friend,
then He calls for you to offer Him friendship.
If He has come to be your King,
then He expects you to render Him the service due to a King.
If He has given Himself to you, as God entering our world,
then it is clear that we must give ourselves to Him.
The shepherds gave a lamb; the kings gave gold, frankincense and myrrh,
As the carol sings, we must give our hearts.

Who is the baby? Your friend, your King, your God.

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