Text: Luke 2, Rev 19 & John 3
I am the author of two Christmas poems, Bubba the Red Eared Armadillo and The Sunday Morning Before Christmas. It may surprise you to know that I have not made millions of dollars from these songs. I know it surprise me everyday. I now will share with you all my epic poem. The Sunday Morning Before Christmas.
Poem - The Sunday Morning before Christmas
Twas the Sunday before Christmas and all through the town.
Church members were jumping from their beds with a frown.
"Look at the clock we over slept" yelled Dad.
"Now be quiet" said Mom, "On Sunday, don't be mad."
Waking each child with a frantic deep,
But they just roll over and go back to sleep.
Finally, they all stumble to the kitchen table.
Mom says, "Get your own breakfast. I know you're able."
Grumping and griping they search for a meal.
Glaring at one another with looks that could kill.
"You've got to go faster. We're late,” Dad screams.
He really means it, his face covered in shaving cream.
"Honey, he cries. Didn't you wash my underwear.
He asks in a voice of frustration and fear.
"I can only wash what you put in the hamper"
Already the worship mood was taking a damper.
"Mom, where's my shoes, Mom where’s my clothes."
Mom wonders if these are family or foes.
Finally, they pile into the car to depart.
"Wait, calls little Mary, "my Bible I forgot.
While they wait little Johnny starts to rant
"I gotta go to the potty or I'll wet my pants."
Dad slowly bangs his head on the wheel
Mom says, "If you open a cut it will take weeks to heel."
Now they are flying down the road like a rocket.
Johnny discovers week old gummy worms in his pocket.
He quietly places them on his sister's collar.
And innocently waits for the inevitable holler.
"You little monster, did you put this in my hair?"
"Children be quiet. We're almost there."
Finally, at the church, they safely arrived.
Another Sunday morning somehow survived.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
His First Coming Was Into a Stable
The first coming of Jesus was not what was expected of the Jewish Messiah. He had been looked for, prophesied about and prayed for by people of Israel for thousands of years and yet when He came they did not fully recognize Him, because His first coming was quiet, humble, and almost hidden.
In the expectations of the rabbis and scholars, the messiah should have come riding in a chariot draw by fine horses but instead he arrived with his family carried on a donkey.
He should have been announced by courtly heralds blowing golden trumpets and shouting for all those to present to bow before the coming King, instead he was announced by an angel on a remote hillside to a group of shepherds watching their flock. The Messiah should have been born in a castle, filled with servants but instead he was born in a stable surrounded by animals. He should have sat upon a throne of gold at his coming, instead He lays on a wooden manager filled with straw.
All His Life on earthly life, Jesus did not meet the expectations of those who looked for their idea of a coming King, rabbi or Messiah. He always came in ways unexpected. To John the Baptist he came seeking to be baptized, but John thought Christ should baptize him. To Nathaniel he came out of Nazareth, but Nathaniel knew that nothing good came out of Nazareth. To the woman at the well, he came as a friend even though the Jews had nothing to do with the Samaritans. To the Pharisees he came as having His own authority and not as they believed, needing their approval for what he taught or what he did. To Pilate he came as a criminal, to be condemned to death and was sent away with a writing that said, Behold the King of the Jews. To the Jewish people, he came as a suffering savior, when they were looking for a conquering hero.
When Christ first came it was not to meet the expectations of the world but to do the will of His Father. John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Even today, Jesus is not worried about meeting your expectation of who you think He is or what he is supposed to do. When Jesus comes to us even today, it will never be in a way that we are expecting.
The Child Becomes A Man
The little child born in a stable grows to be a man. He lives a life just as you and I but sinlessly, perfectly keeping the Law and His Heavenly Father’s will. By that will Jesus is arrested and after a night of torture and persecution, He is crucified on a wooden cross high on Calvary’s hill. His companion in death are two thieves. He is cut down at only about 30 years of age. It is not how the Messiah was supposed to die. There was no great battle, no destruction of the enemies of Israel, just a beaten man, bowing his head and crying out. It is not what they thought would happen, yet it was the Father’s will. Jesus gives His life a ransom for the sin of all mankind. He dies and is buried in a rich man’s donated grave.
Mark 15:22-27 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
Now at last they know what to expect. Those who hated him expect his story to end, his follower to run and his teaching to fade. His disciple expect to be arrested and they hide themselves in secret places. Sin and death and the grave expected to claim the body of Jesus until it turned to nothing but bones and dust.
The Man Becomes a Savior
And then three days later, once again Jesus destroys those expectation and on the glorious sunrise of that third day He rose from that temporary tomb as the earth shook and the stone rolled away!
Over the next 40 days hundreds of people saw Him and talked with him. His disciples watche as he appears in the midst of a locked room, eats with them and offers His wounded hands and side as proof. Then on that 40th day from the Mount of Olives, full view of a crowd of onlookers, He ascended back up into heaven to once again be with His Father.
Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Transition Now this was the first coming of Jesus and it is the reason we celebrate the Christmas season, but this is not the last coming of Jesus into this world. If fact there are three comings and I want to share with you those other two. In Luke 2 we see Jesus coming as a humble child into the stable, but the next coming will be as a Hero King Into a Dark World
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
His Future Coming Into a Dark World
Again the coming of Jesus in not expected by those who will experience it. As we read the book of Revelation and Daniel and other prophetic passage we are shown that when Jesus comes in the future, He will come to the earth at the end a 7 year tribulation. A time of unbelieveable suffering for all the world and especially for the people of God.
Billions and billions of the people living at this time have died terrible deaths. The Bible says up to 3/4ths of all the earth’s population have been killed by war, famine, earthquake, even meteor and comet strikes. The sea and waters of the earth described as turning into blood and are too poisoned to drink. Hell has been opened and an army of demons is unleased. All infrastructe collapses, there is no running water, there is no electricity, there is no running transportation. Finally, there is no light at all in all the earth. The Bible says, the moon turns the color of blood and the sun fades to black, it says the stars of heaven fall from the sky.
The last army on earth, an army of over 200 million warriors, led by the anti-Christ under the power of Satan, will gather in the valley of Megiddo with one final purpose, to punish the people of God, who they blame for all that has happened to them. They begin their march to destroy the city of Jerusalem and all that still live there. They expect a slaughter because they know there is no one that can stop an army of 200 million, led by the greatest military leader of all time.
The attack begins and the Bible says, half of the city of God, falls and just when it seems that the anti-Christ and his army will win, once again Jesus comes and He was not expected. The pitch black sky is suddenly split with a light brighter than any that has ever been seen. Light lighting it streaks across the blackness from East to west. And there, riding on a supernatural white horse is Jesus Christ, the son of God. He returns to earth leading the armies of heaven against the armies of the anti-Christ. The Bible says a sword comes from his mouth and the demon inspired army is slaughtered, so that in the aftermath the blood of the slain runs as high as a horse’s bridle for over 200 miles though the valley of Meggido.
Jesus the Conquering King Comes.
Let me assure you that just as sure as His first coming is historical fact and we celebrate it each year at Christmas time, His second coming will also take place. Jesus will come again into a sin darkened world as the Hero King. The world doesn’t believe it and once again Jesus will come when and how they don’t expect.
As the angels promised that day when He ascended, “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Coming through the sky and touching down on the Mount of Olives Jesus now the conquering King comes.
Transition: There is yet one more coming and it is to us personally the most important of all. I was not there for the past coming and I can only look forward to the future coming but in the present I can in my own life, experience Jesus coming, this time as a Healing Savior.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
His Present Coming Is into My Heart
Jesus waits to enter this world, your world, right now, at this exact moment. Not now as through the womb of a virgin. Nor into a stable in the town of Bethlehem. Not on a white horse, splitting of the sky and leading the armies of heaven, but simply and quietly through your faith into your heart. This time not announced by angels, nor by the light that burns the darkens from the sky, but by the unmistakable touch and conviction of the Holy Spirit on our soul’s will
John 3:7-8 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Jesus says the Holy Spirit is like wind and he moves and blows upon our hearts. When Jesus is lifted up, when the Gospel is preached as it has been this day, then the Holy Spirit moves like wind, touching our spirits and telling us that Jesus is coming and He this time he comes for you.
Jesus Not as Expected
Perhaps this quiet working of the Holy Spirit doesn’t fit your expectations of how Jesus should will into your life. Perhaps it doesn’t seem like the way He would save your soul and make you a child of God. But isn’t that unexpectedness the way he has always come?
You may have expected to work for in order for Jesus to come to you. You may have thought that being a member of a church or following some religious rituals would bring Jesus to your heart. Or maybe you just thought you could live good enough to one day meet him in heaven. Imagine that you didn’t look for Jesus to come to you, you thought you would be good enough to com to Him! You will never have any of those expectations fulfilled. The Bible is very plain and tell us that if those are your expectation, then you will be disappointed, eternally disappointed.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Can it be any plainer than that.
It may be that you just weren’t expecting Him right now or right here at a Sunday Celebration of the birth of that little baby over 2000 years ago. Maybe you are one of those people who thinks that Jesus should come and save you but only when you ready to be saved. He should come when your sins aren’t so great, or after you’ve enjoyed this world and its pleasures for a season.
Yet the Bible says, in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Jesus never come when or how you expect it. I didn’t expect Jesus to knock on my hearts door when I was a little 7 year old boy sitting in the Spanish Mission in Miami, Arizona, but He did and in the evening service with my Granddaddy preaching and my Mom and family watching, I walked the aisle and with tears in my eyes knew that Jesus had come to me.
My wife, LeeOra didn’t expect Jesus to come to her when we were living in a little travel trailer in Yuma, Arizona. She was raised to believe that baptism, communion and the Catholic church were the ways to salvation. She certainly wasn’t expecting Jesus to come for her that day, because she thought she was already saved by what she had done. But one day, sitting alone and reading her Bible as she studied a scripture lesson, she realized Jesus was outside her life and she felt the gentle brush of the Holy Spirit and she heard the voice of the savior and she let Jesus come in.
What about you today? Has Jesus come to you and saved your soul? Are you looking for him to come today? Listen for His voice, stop for a moment and feel the touch of the Holy Spirit, like a gentle but unmistakable breeze blowing across your soul and then for you what Paul said will be true, “Today, today is the time accepted, today is the day of salvation.”