Christmas is finally here! And as Christ followers everywhere gather to remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior. Everybody has seen the Nativity scene. There is a barn, a donkey, a shepherd, a few sheep, three kings, a treasure chest, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in a cradle-nest made of tree branches. The Christmas season also brings further white noise of Santa, Elf on the shelf and a partridge in a pear tree. However, none of it matters if the Nativity scene is empty. The Biblical Christmas story is like watching a mystery theater; every scene has a twist. As this puzzling drama unfolds the characters emerge with fascinating pasts. They are players injected into God’s plan to solve the suffering of the ages. This suspenseful piecing together of the Nativity’s characters and circumstances makes the birth of Jesus a thriller, leaving each of us a newfound purpose and power to make a difference. In A Christmas Story, Pastor Patrick Norris shifts our eyes from surface ideas of the manger to reveal God’s ultimate masterpiece of Redemption.
LUKE 2:1-20 NKJV And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in SWADDLING cloths, and laid Him in a MANGER, because there was no room for them in the INN (guest chamber). 8 Now there were in the same country SHEPHERDS living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an ANGEL of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the SIGN TO YOU: You will find a Babe wrapped in SWADDLING CLOTHS, lying in a MANGER.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a MULTITUDE OF THE HEAVENLY HOST praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
- MARY AND JOSEPH
- JERUSALEM – TEMPLE BABY DEDICATION
- KING HEROD
1 JOHN 4:17 NKJV Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because AS JESUS CHRIST IS, SO ARE WE in this world.