There is an old joke about what my parents used to call a C and E Christian. You know, they attend church on Christmas and Easter. As the C and E gentleman was shaking hands with the pastor at the end of the Christmas Eve service he says, “Boy, pastor, you sure are in a rut. All you ever talk about is the baby in the manger or Jesus rising from the dead.”
As pastors we absolutely love the high Holidays, but it leaves us with a conundrum. We absolutely love focusing on the Incarnation. God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, became a human being, assumed flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, born in a simple stable in Bethlehem. Born, lived, died and rose to save you and I forever and ever. Amen.
Yet, as preachers we always want to come up with a new and different way to express Christmas and Easter – God lived, forgives, saves, and we live forever because He came into the world, died and rose. We want to say it some way that no one has ever said it before. But there is no human way to top what God has done. Even our best and greatest descriptions fail to top the Glory of what God has done.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward all – Luke 2:10-14
No human, has ever been able to come close to the Glory of the Lord we celebrate this night. Not even Handel’s Messiah, even if the “Halleluiah Chorus” is performed perfectly. Even if all the singers and instruments hit every just right, as glorious as that would be – It can’t even come close to the Glory of what God did in his gift of His son Jesus Christ.
So every year we tell the same story, because as simple as it is, it is God doing and is wonderful in our sight. It comes down to one simple sentence:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16