Christmas is in full effect!
The commercials have started…the sales have begun. Lights have started going up in the neighborhood.
I could do the standard Christian post about consumerism run amuck…removing Christ from Christmas. But, I won’t do that. I’m going to assume we all understand that Christ is the reason for Christmas. And from that assumption, a greater question arises: who is this baby that will be born.
We all have conceptions and misconceptions about why Christ is born. Ricky Bobby says it best:
And, while we might not be this extreme there is much confusion over the Nature of this Child. This was all brought to focus as I looked at the Gospel reading for today (Luke 23:33-43). I mean, this is the Sunday before Advent – the season in the Church calendar that culminates in Christmas (the Incarnation) where we prepare for the Word to be made flesh. And, rather than a passage talking about this Child we find a passage talking about the Crucifixion.
Why are we talking about the Crucifixion as we enter into the season where we prepare for Christmas? Why are we talking about Jesus’ death, as we enter into the season where we prepare for His birth? And, why is this Sunday proclaimed as the commemoration of “Christ the King?”
What kind of king is this? For, this king is hanged on a cross. When others look for Jesus to save Himself, He remains on the Cross and we are reminded that Christ is born for this!
Jesus Christ is not the King you expected. Unlike the Tankard’s would have you believe, He wasn’t born for “us all to be millionaires.” He wasn’t born to establish our stature in society as God’s new chosen people…the exceptional and select few who are ordained to rule the world. Jesus wasn’t born to call us out of suffering. Rather, Christ is born to die! Jesus Christ is born ultimately to call us to join Him on the Cross…that we might die with Him.
Who, then, is the King that is to be born into the world? What, then, should be the focus of our preparations?
I offer my sermon from today: Jesus Christ is Not the King You Expected | Luke 23:33-43
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