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Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 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. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

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, goodwill toward men!””
(Luke 2:8–14 NKJV)
In the above passage concerning the Christmas Story, we read about our Savior, a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. We saw last week that it very much matters Who was lying in the manger. We will discover more amazing things concerning this today.

Christmas is the celebration of the entrance of our Savior into our world! Culture tends to think that Christmas is about the trees, gifts, food, etc. These things are the expression of celebration because of the entrance of our Savior into our world. We need to know what we are celebrating so that we can do it truly celebrate.

On June 12, 2012, Spencer West, who was 31 years old from Toronto Canada, finished a seven day trek to reach the summit of the 19,341’ high rugged Mount Kilimanjaro. This was quite an accomplishment because less than 50% of those who attempt this actually finish. What makes this even more remarkable is that Spencer had lost his legs from the pelvic bone down when he was five years old. That was a big deal!

On October 14, 2012, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner, wearing a pressurized suit did a 4:20, 24 mile free fall back to earth. He reached a speed of 833.9 mph actually traveling faster than the speed of sound. That was a big deal!

Approximately 2000 years ago God walked on earth. God put on flesh and came as a baby, in a manger, in Bethlehem. He grew up, lived a sinless life, taught the greatest things ever spoken, performed miracles, died on a cruel cross for the sins of all mankind. Three days later, He rose from the dead! Now that is a big deal!!!

Jesus didn’t get His start in a stable. Christmas in Bethlehem was not His beginning, but it is the day that He made His entrance to earth. Before the Incarnation He was, and He was all that He was before He put on flesh. It’s all a big deal and it’s all miraculous!

The first miracle that we see here is that God came to earth. This is clearly the most significant event in history!  In fact, our calendar is split in half by it. All of history is split into B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini – In The Year of The Lord). All history pivots around the event of God putting on flesh. He is the reference point for every date and event in history.

The second miracle is that God became a man! God became one of us!

John 1:14 (NKJV) says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Message Bible says, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”

When we hear about incredible feats it is natural to want to know more. We are inquisitive as to what they did, who they were and why they would attempt such a feat. Spencer West said that he wanted to redefine the possible. Baumgartner commented that he felt so small and he hoped he would make it.

Most are familiar with the Christmas Story, but we all benefit from taking a closer look as to the Who and the Why.

The Who Reveals the Why
Think of a house. Who is in the house reveals why they are in the house. What about a mom, wife, repairman, realtor, or burglar? Their identity reveals their purpose.

Think about a stadium. Who is in the stadium reveals why they are in the stadium. What about a spectator, coach, scout, vendor, referee, or cheerleader? Their identity reveals their purpose!

So, Who is the Babe lying in the manger?
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isa. 9:6 NKJV)
When we meet people we are generally curious to know their name and what they do. Isaiah 9:6 tells us about this Child, this Son and gives us His Name. God revels His character, attributes and intentions by His names! God can only be to us Who we know Him to be. We need to know that He’s the Prince of Peace for peace. We need to know that He’s the Provider for provision. We need to know that He’s the Helper for help. If we fail to know these names then we will not call Him by these names.

Identity reveals purpose. We are told that He is Wonderful Counselor who is the Mighty God: the Everlasting Father who is the Prince of Peace!

The Who reveals the why!
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.
(Matt. 1:21 NKJV)
In the above verse we read that they were to call His Name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins. The name Jesus means Jehovah: who saves, helps, the Savior!
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 
(Matt. 1:23 NKJV)
The Who reveals the Why again!  He is Immanuel, which means God with us. If He is with us then He is also for us!  Remember, Who was lying in the manger matters. It ‘s not just that there was a baby in a manger. It matters because of Who this baby is.

We can put all this together and see the ultimate Why. He wants a relationship with us!

“Jesus, the Son of God became a man, so that man might become sons of God!”  C.S. Lewis

Our relationship with God is the most important, powerful and precious thing that we could ever have! We all need to pause at the manger and think about What, Who and Why.

The result of all of this is that we should celebrate Christmas. Again, Christmas is the celebration of the entrance of our Savior into our world.

How do we celebrate such a miraculous feat? We sing, fully aware of why we celebrate. We sing loud and deliberately!  We put up lights to celebrate. We feast with family and friends to celebrate. We give and receive. We laugh and sing some more. We forgive, we love, etc.

Christmas happened so that we could have a relationship with God and that’s worth celebrating!

Meadowbrook Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Gilligan
Web site: Meadowbrook Church Ocala
 
Tim Gilligan founded Meadowbrook Church of Ocala in 1989 with an urgent desire to minister to the people of Central Florida. Over twenty years later, Tim continues to practically and passionately share the uncompromised truth of God’s word. He earned his BA in Theology and Ministry from Sterling College, a Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership from Southeastern University, and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry from AGTS. He’s authored five books.
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