This exhortation was given at Christ Church Downtown on December 6, 2020.
Nobody can stop Christmas. It is coming no matter what. But there have been many attempts before…
Herod once tried to stop Christmas. When the word of a King being born first came to his ears, he tried to get ahead of it by using the Wise Men who were wise enough to take a detour on the way back home. So Herod then had every child under 2 murdered in Bethlehem.
Had Herod succeeded – no Christmas for you and me, no promise fulfilled to Abraham, no deliverance for Israel, and no light to the Gentiles.
But nobody can stop Christmas, even though some are still trying today.
From the petty attempts of companies switching “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” — to tyrant governors dictating the number of people that can open presents under your tree — Christmas is indeed under assault. Babies are still murdered by the thousands in our land, Rachel is still weeping for her children in Ramah. Our culture decidedly does not want Christ to come.
And so we don our Christmas gear and slap on bumper stickers that say, “Keep Christ in Christmas.”
But don’t forget one last Grinch in this story. Don’t forget about… you.
In many ways we ourselves work against the coming of Christ in our own lives.
During Advent we stress over anticipated family drama. We get snappy with our kids during Christmas photos. We are tempted toward greed and we become anxious over finances. We have lots of hustle and bustle, but little of Christ during Advent.
We trade in the joy of Christ’s coming and we cloud Christ’s incarnation, the central mystery of our faith — with all these stupid sins. We fail to stop to think about Him, about what it means for God to became man for us.
The shepherds left their flocks behind and went with haste to adore Him. The Wise Men had to travel from East to West to worship Him. And we struggle to simply slow down and give Him the honor He is due. We fail to confess and kill the sin that crowds Him out.
But remember — nobody can stop Christmas, not even you.
The Good News of Christmas is that your sin can’t actually pause the coming of Christ. He is coming to deal with it, whether you’re ready or not.
And this is indeed good news of great joy for all people.