Christmas Message 2011: Jesus the Plain One
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed..
The Christmas message 4 B.C. was that of a baby in an inglorious animal stable.
The Bible says that Jesus came to this world in the most humble way. He was rejected by people from his very first breath. He had to sleep with the animals. People had no room for him in their inn, or in their hearts.
Growing up and starting his ministry, Jesus had no loveliness to attract people to him, no flashy sermon typed up neatly on his iPad.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2)
His words were controversial, and they slashed his religious community in pieces.
Jesus died a cruel death, the most gory, horrific death imaginable. People spit on his cross. There was no human glory in the cross.
Yet look at his church today.
The American Church: The Fancy One
The Christmas message 2011 is of a trendy Jesus in a glorious church.
Pastors wear fancy designer suits, and they deliver their sermons from their iPads onto their Powerpoints. They rule over giant buildings full of gold and glitter and well-dressed people. The people smile and wave at each other, but they hold venom and hatred inside.
The church shouts out to every passerby, “Look I have the best nursery and the best coffee. Give my service a try, I’ll make you feel good.”
“Look at our building. We even have a gym. Come here and lose weight for God. It will only cost you $50 a month. That’s cheaper than Bally’s!”
“Come to our church, and we will wow you as we worship Jesus with our rockin’ worship team.”
The churches shout and flash and compete for the most business. Meanwhile the world is dying around them. Somehow this does not look like Jesus in a manger, Jesus healing the people, Jesus dying a prisoner’s death.
Christmas Message 2011: Make a Choice for Jesus
As you go to your candlelit, hip-hopping, coffee-sipping, seeker-sensitive Christmas service today, take a minute to talk to the man who gave everything for you. You might be surprised at what you hear.