With the Grinch, George Bailey, and Kevin Mcallister, it’s easy to be distracted from the true Hero of Christmas. Join AMBrewster as he sums up the entire Christmas Hero Story in one manageable chunk for Christian Parents to share with their kids.
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In just four short days it’ll be Christmas!
And this year the 25th falls on a Tuesday, which means that we plan to publish an episode on Christmas Day!
Now, trust me, I completely understand. There’s not a single one of you who would likely listen to a parenting podcast on Christmas.
(And — if you are that type of person — please allow me to suggest at least twenty other activities which would fill the time more blissfully.)
And that’s why I almost decided to cancel our Tuesday episode. But then I had an idea.
All growing up, my wife’s family would start their Christmas Day festivities by reading Luke chapter 2, and we’ve done the same in our house since we've been married.
So, we decided that it would be fun to share that tradition with as many families as would like to join us.
Therefore, on Christmas morning at 12:00 am I plan to do a Christmas reading. Of course, you don’t have to listen to it at 12. It will be available all day long, and — Lord willing — be available to you every Christmas.
Now, I wouldn’t want to take away anyone’s fun. By all means, you feel free to read the chapter together as a family. Do your own family traditions.
But, if you’d like, I’d be honored to share that time with you and the ones you love. And, if you choose to listen to the show that morning, we’d love for you to post a picture of your family on our Facebook page.
No doubt you’ll all look glorious in your PJ’s and Santa hats!
I promise you that I’ll be wearing my Happy Christmas Pants, and — if you can’t begin to imagine what that would look like — I’ll encourage you to swing by Facebook to see my family’s Christmas Morning photo.
I hope to spend that time with you, but whether or not you join us that Tuesday, please know that I and TeamTLP desperately love you and yours, and we pray God’s blessing as you grow to love Him more.
And now let’s turn our attention to the “The Hero God Wants Your Family to Celebrate This Christmas.”
Last time with discussed how to prepare the way for Jesus in your home this Christmas. That was more of a method message, but this will be a content message.
Though you’ll probably spend many short times talking about Jesus this season, I’d like to give you something that will package up the whole story from beginning to end in one manageable devotional or challenge or family Bible time.
So, here we go.
If you want to place your finger on the pulse of our culture, just watch a movie. It will tell you nearly everything you need to know about our nation.
Take a moment to consider some of the favorite Christmas movies. Of course, I say “Christmas” with quote fingers because it seems that most of our favorites actually have nothing to do with Christmas.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.
What are the popular films?
The many incarnations of “A Christmas Carol,”
“It’s a Wonderful Life,”
One of the three “How the Grinch Stole Christmas’s,”
How about “Home Alone” 1 and 2? (No, “Home Alone” 3 does not count.),
Then there’s “A Christmas Story” — I have no idea why anyone would watch that,
“Frosty the Snowman,”
And all the Santa derivations:
“The Santa Clauses,”
“Santa Claus the Movie,”
All the claymation Santas and Rudolphs,
Both “Miracle on 34th Streets,”
And the ever-classy “Ernest Saves Christmas.”
And what do all of those stories have in common?
They all showcase at least one hero.
Scrooge, George Bailey, the Grinch, Kevin McCallister, and Santa are just some of the Christmas heroes we celebrate this time of year.
And those are the more noble of our culture’s Christmas heroes. Trust me, there are far worse.
But what of the true Hero of Christmas? What does the Creator of this world have to say on the subject?
You see, we all like to focus on the baby in the manger, and that’s an incredibly important part of the story.
The events surrounding Jesus’ birth tell us so much about Him, but they only tell us a small fraction of the story.
As we discussed last time, Jesus wasn’t born to stay in the manger. He wasn’t born to forever be immortalized in a nativity scene. He came for the most amazing purpose . . . and it wasn’t to give toys to kids once a year, it wasn’t to help Tiny Tim recover from his illness, it wasn't to keep the Wet Bandits from robbing his family, and it wasn’t to keep the building and loan open.
Today, I’d like to tell you the entire story of Christmas from the very beginning to the very end. And — lest you be concerned that this will take way too long — the whole story can be found in just six verses. So let’s walk briefly through Philippians 2:6-11 and so we can help our families focus on the one, true hero of Christmas.
And, remember, this is to encourage you, but also to equip you to share this glorious Truth with your family. It’s too easy for the true Hero of Christmas to get lost amongst all our paltry replacements.
It’s actually really hard to find just one truly magnificent movie about this Hero. And so it’s up to us to lead our children into the true knowledge of Christ.
Join me — if you will — in Philippians 2. We’re going to see four eternally glorious, and abundantly magnificent acts in this Christmas narrative.
1. And it all starts with a The King.
Philippians 2:6 reads, “Though [Jesus] was in the form of God, [He] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.”
Now, we just don’t have the time to unwrap the infinite depths of this one simple sentence.
But this we must accept — Jesus Christ is God. He is the 100% supernatural, King of all creation.
And, as the Creator of all things, He knows what’s best for everything. If you invented the can-opener, it’s completely appropriate for you to decide whether or not it should be used to spread peanut butter!
But this act takes a quick and depressing turn. Mankind decided they weren’t going to follow The King’s plan.
We rebelled. That rebellion is called sin. Sin is anything and everything that doesn’t line up with God’s plan for us.
And our sin has earned us the consequences of our choices. Romans 5:12 tells us, “Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
Romans 6:23 proclaims, “For the wages of sin is death.”
And since we have sinned against an eternal King — in order to pay for our rebellion — we owe an eternal debt.
But here is where the story begins to shine. This Sovereign King had another plan. Though our debt is an eternal one, and though He is perfectly just — meaning He will require that the debt be paid — this King didn’t want for us to have to owe Him for all eternity.
So He decided to become a Slave.
And so we move to Act 2.
2. The Slave
Philippians 2:7 says, “[He] emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Why did Jesus have to be born to a virgin? Why did the star and the manger and the shepherds and the wise men have to happen?
As God, He could not pay a human’s debt. Only a human could do that. God had to become a man so that He could justly pay our sin debt. Jesus was born so many years ago so that He could be the perfect substitute for all mankind.
Imagine that. If that’s not the stuff of heroes, I have no idea what is.
The King became The Slave so He could pay . . .
3. The Price
Act 3 is all about how much it was going to cost The King to pay His people’s debt. You see, becoming The Slave wasn’t good enough. That was just the beginning. Remember this, our greatest joy is to serve God, but the consequences of our sin is death.
That's The Price that would have to be paid.
Philippians 2:8 tells us, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Some people think it's sad or depressing or disgusting that we try to mar the sweet and innocent nativity with the torture and death of the cross.
This is why we must remember why He had to come in the first place. The King’s creation — you and I and every man, woman, and child who has ever lived — rebelled against Him by sinning. And because of our sin, we’ve earned eternal death in a place called Hell.
But, remember, the King loved us so much that He created a plan. And that plan involved Him becoming a Servant so that He could pay our debt for us.
Jesus submitted to death on the Cross so His creation could reign with Him forever.
Hebrews 10 tells us, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” And verse 10 says, “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
And for this reason the King is the most amazing, humble, giving, loving, powerful, merciful, wise, gracious Hero to ever live!
And this leads us to the fourth and final act of this infinite spectacle.
4. The Hero
Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Should we adore and reverence the baby in the manger? Most definitely!
But we should also realize that the manger was just one important step in the whole story.
Before He was a baby in a manger, He was God.
And when He became a baby in a manger, He was God putting into motion the most amazing redemption story in the history of mankind.
And when He perfectly paid our debt by dying on the cross, He was God — which made it possible for every human to be reconciled to their King.
And now, as the greatest Hero in the universe, He is still the God who loves you and desperately wants to have a relationship with you.
And one day “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This, my friends, is the Baby in the manger. This is Immanuel. This is the Holy Child.
He’s all of that and so much more, and we need to unwrap this glorious mystery and divine present for our children in a way they can understand and believe, and I think Philippians 2 is a wonderful place to start.
Please share this episode with your friends and download our free episode notes from taking Back the Family so you can easily share it with your kids.
And don't forget about our next episode. Be sure to join us for “A Family Christmas Bible Time.”
And, before we go, I want to thank one of our new Patrons, Dave for his faithful support and encourage you — on his behalf — to learn more about how you can keep TLP going. Just click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP “ link in the description.
God wants your children to know the true Hero of Christmas, and you’re the lucky ones who get to share it with them!
I’ll see you next time.
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