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The Tragedy of Missing Christmas (4 of 4)
1996 Christmas Series
John 1:11, Luke 2:7
(Read John 1:1-14 NASB)
Introduction: To borrow from Charles Dickens' famous opening line, Christmas can be "the best of times and the worst of times." I hope for you and your family it was the best and not the worst. It's a little hard to believe-but it has only been a week since we lit the candles and sang the familiar carols. But already, the decorations are down or coming down. And if your neighbor keeps his Christmas lights on at night it looks a little odd. Have you ever noticed that after the decorations are taken down the house seems much emptier, much larger, than it did before we brought all that stuff in? Strange-this week after Christmas. Do you know anyone that missed Christmas? I passed a hotel on Christmas Eve where there was only one car in the parking lot. I must admit I wondered about that person and what Christmas would be like for them.
I'm convinced that there are many people who miss Christmas every year. It's not as though they are physically absent. It's simply that they are oblivious to the real meaning of Christmas.
Frankly, our culture has made a mess of Christmas. We have compounded the holiday with so many traditions, hype, hysteria, and unreal expectations that we have missed the simplicity of the birth of Christ. IT IS IRONIC THAT THIS BLESSED HOLY DAY HAS BECOME THE MOST COMPLEX OF ALL OUR HOLIDAYS. IT IS NO WONDER SO MANY PEOPLE MISS CHRISTMAS.
One thing hasn't changed since the time of Mary and Joseph: nearly everyone missed that first Christmas too. Busy and consumed with all kinds of things, nearly everyone missed it. The similarities between their world and ours are striking.
Surely one of the saddest verses in all of scripture has to be John 1:11: "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him."
THE PREOCCUPIED / THE INNKEEPER
(Luke 2:7 NASB) And she gave birth to her first- born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
- While he is never mentioned in scripture, his presence is implied. Tradition has not been kind to him. There is no evidence that he was hostile or even unsympathetic.
- He was simply busy. It was census time. The city was bulging with everyone whose ancestry went back to the town. Every living descendant of David would have been there plus many others.
- The Son of God was about to be born on his property but in his preoccupation He missed it as far as we know.
- He represents millions today who are preoccupied with other things and activities. It is not necessarily sinful attractions. They are simply consumed with shopping for gifts, parties, social events, even church events-preoccupied to the point th ...
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