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Christ Came Down!
" Long ago a child came down
To a little sleepy town,
And upon that Christmas morn
Christ the heavenly King was born.
Over His bed a mother fair
Watched her child with tender care;
And through all the night so long,
Mary sang a cradle song.
Tis a story old yet new,
And every bit of it is true,
And I'm glad that Christ came down
To that sleepy little town."
Galatians 4:4: " But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son..."
The overruling providence of God appears in this simple fact.
Little did the haughty Roman emperor and his officer Cyrenius think that they were instruments in the hand of the God of Israel.
- God orders all things in Heaven and earth.
- He turns the hearts of earthly kings according to His will.
- He ruled the decree of Caesar Augustus concerning the taxing.
- He directed the enforcement of the decree in such a way that Mary must be at Bethlehem
when " the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. "
Little did they know that they were carrying out the eternal purposes of the King of Kings.
The heart of every believer should take comfort in the recollection of God's providential government of the world.
A Christian should never be greatly moved or disturbed by the conduct of the rulers of the earth.
We should see with the eyes of faith a Hand overruling all that they might do to the praise of God.
Our Lord arrived on the scene of human history when preparations, conducted through the previous ages, was complete.
It was four hundred years since the last prophet had spoken.
And during the interval the nation had been particularly active in arranging, comparing, discussing,
and weighing the great treasures of the past.
Therefore, there was an "expectation of Israel" for which all good men were waiting.
God had spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets of that which had been planned before the world began.
The hour had come and men were watching...
"While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around,
And glory shone around."
That moment had come!
God sent forth His Son!
"There's a song in the air! There's a star in the sky!
There's a mother's deep prayer and a baby's low cry!
And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!"
" O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in -
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel! "
Jesus, who had glory with God before the world was, was born among cattle in a lantern-lit barn in Bethlehem
"because there was no room for them in the inn."
But Christ's birth and life and death made little Bethlehem, the little of the thousands of Judah ((Micah 5:2),
- Born at a time in history when religion was clasping fingers with idolatry.
- Born at a time when the Jewish race was " sleeping in robes of beautiful purple,"
and when Athens was " drunk with the wine of skepticism,"
and when India was dreaming of Buddha, and Persia was wearing upon her brow a funeral wreath.
- Born at a time when the Coliseum typified the cruelty of the Roman Empire.
mightier than Caesar's throne; mightier than Plato's school: mightier than Zion's fame; for Jesus was
the Light - God seen; the Word - God heard; the Life - God felt.
Christ who made all things in creation was made flesh.
Such great things Jesus said about Himself:
- He who made man was made in the likeness of man.
- He who was " clothed with honor and majesty" (Psalm 104:1) was wrapped in swaddling clothes.
- He who was before Abraham was born two-thousand years after Abraham.
- He whom the heavens could not contain was born in a camel's stall.
Human language falls short of expressing all that He is, even as a thimble lacks the capacity to hold Niagara Falls.
- Thinking of the world's darkness, Jesus said: " I am the Light of the world."
- Thinking of humanities' homelessness: " I am the Door."
- Thinking of our waywardness: " I am the Way."
- Thinking of our need of protection: " I am the Good Shepherd."
- Thinking of our fruitlessness that dishonors God: " I am the Vine."
- Thinking of the world's deadness in sin: " I am the Resurrection and the Life."
Fact of Facts - The Bible's Theme:
He Stands Alone, August, Unique, Supreme!
His name shall be called Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6), though a thousand names be used.
Jesus knew men better than they knew themselves:
- Christ, the loftiest ideal of all literature, the highest personality of all philosophers, the supreme problem of all criticism,
the fundamental doctrine of all theology, the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion, the outstanding King of Kings was,
and is, the superlative of anything you choose to call Him.
- Leaping across conventional chasms, spurning all natural boundaries, assaulting all superficialities, He taught
as no man ever taught, or ever will, or ever can.
The master minds of the ages, searching, scrutinizing, sifting, studying His teachings, have never diminished them
and could never exhaust them.
They cannot add to, nor subtract one word from what He said.
Every truth uttered by all men in all realms in the last two thousand years is rooted like a rainbow in something Jesus said.
He has the words of eternal life!
And He knows me!
- He knew the impure life of the Samaritan woman.
- He knew the hidden thoughts of His disciples.
- He knew the perplexities of the rich publican.
- He knew the troubles of widows.
- He knew the sorrows of children.
- He knew that Simon Peter would become a coward, that Thomas was a quicksand of skepticism,
and that the heart of Judas was a smoldering black flame of treason.
And He knows you!
He Knows us through and through!
He had no weakness.
- Watch Him as He moves among the multitude!
He was sinlessly sympathetic and radiant with spirituality.
- Watch Him in public and you will see how sinlessly humble and capable of sinless wrath He was!
Scan the records of His deeds and words in private and in public, and you will see Him moving with gentleness
and with conquering courtesy.
- Watch Him among the wedding guests, in the midst of scholars and you will see that He is never bothered
as to what He should do -- never in doubt, never puzzled, never in a quandary.
- Observe Him when He is beset by enemies, and forsaken by friends, and betrayed by a disciple,
and you will find that arrogance never gives tone to His voice, saintliness is in His bearing,
and His dignity transcends that of kings in procession.
- Watch Him as He is brought before the Sanhedrin!
His every word is above theirs as the words of philosophers are above the jabberings of an idiot.
His righteousness is beyond theirs as the surge of an avalanche is beyond the whisperings of a brook.
- See Him before Governor Pilate and see Pilate become confused and afraid before Him who never said anything
He ought not to have said nor left anything undone He ought to have done!
- Watch Him on His way out of Jerusalem and listen to that last anguished cry of the crucifixion,
and you will see that in death and life, He exhibited no weakness!
Across the ages we still hear the voice of God, as it was heard at His baptism in the Jordan:
- He struck no wrong note.
- He never made a mistake.
- He never took the wrong step.
- He never made an error in judgment.
- He was sinless in thought, in word, in deed, in life, and in death.
" This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
Jesus cannot be duplicated.
Divinely distinct, He resembles no one:
- He, not another, is the conscience of the world.
- His eyes, not the eyes of another, hold the searching gaze of eternity.
- His hands, not the hands of another, can lift every sinner out of the very pit of hell.
- His ears, not the ears of another, are alert unto humanity's feeblest prayer.
Folks gave themselves to Jesus and served Him all their lives.
- Who, as He, ever so thrilled men's lives with hopes of immortal music?
- Who, as He, ever spoke words that aroused dead hopes in dead hearts?
- Who, as He, ever shed tears that should crystallize into prophetic thunders of warning
over every Jerusalem of our day?
- Who, as He, ever spoke words that impeached the hypocrisies of a religious hierarchy?
- Who, as He, so condemned a people that had religion in the temple, but not in the heart?
- Who, as He, ever reached out such welcoming arms to a prodigal?
That is the greatest giving and the greatest serving!
The Question Is: What will we give him this Christmas?
- Sinners, brought out of their shameful sin, gave themselves to Him and served Him.
- Aristocrats, from pride brought low; harlots, leaving the ranks of the scarlet sisterhood also came to serve.
- Outcasts, lifted from depths of despair and ruin, also served.
- Many who were poor, gave their little.
- Many who were rich consecrated their much.
" I shall have gifts at Christmas,
and shall I fail to bring
My Christmas gift - a loving heart -
To Jesus Christ the King!
Jesus my Lord
No softly cushioned cradle,
No couch He had,
But in a hay-filled manger
He laid His head,
And midst the lowing cattle
He made His bed -
Jesus My LORD!
Lord, Thou hast given so freely
Thine all to me,
And Thou hast borne my judgment
All gladly now I offer
My all to Thee,
Jesus My Lord! "
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org