"Bad Guys Win Again?"
The “Christmas Story”, as we have come to know it, has two main authors: Luke and Matthew. Luke’s account of the incarnation ends with Simeon, the prophet, pronouncing this over Mary and Joseph: “Your Son will be hated! What men will do to Him will pierce your soul like a sword.”This is not what any parent wants to hear prophesied over their kid. But there it is.
Matthew’s account of the incarnation closes with Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt to escape the demonized ruler of the land. True to his form, Herod kills all the boys 2 years and under. Matthew concludes with this: “Israel’s children will be no more!”
Halt! Just as the Christmas story gets rolling (after 400 years of silence) and makes great and glorious promises about God’s Kingdom coming, it comes to a halt. Jesus and John disappear for 30 years! The closing lines of the Christmas story hang like a putrid fog: “Your son will be hated! What men will do to Him will pierce your soul like a sword.” “Mourn and weep mothers, your babies are no more!”
For Next 30 years? Where is everyone? What happened to all the promises, shepherds, angelic visitations, Magi, prophets and – joy? For thirty years Jesus has been living in the obscure town called Nazareth! No one in Nazareth was pointing to Him saying, "This is the Messiah”; not even Mary.
The Final Act – The one who stands out as the last word in the Christmas story is … Herod! So where do we go? Is Herod always going to get to write the final evil script while the purposes of God seem to vanish and disappear? It sort of looks that way. There is a lot of pain and brokenness in our lives. Maybe that’s why the fat man in the red suit is so popular. His message is filled with “Ho-Ho-Ho” and our story is just quickly forgotten.
The message this Sunday would be a good one for your friends and family to hear. Why not invite them to attend church with you? Hope to see you!