Advent Conspiracy: Love All

Advent Conspiracy: Love All Sermon Audio Here

Luke 2:1-16
One of our STATIC teens posted an interesting picture the other day. I thought it was worth sharing.
Manger... or More?
Allow me to challenge you: look closer. This could be a simple manger scene. I’m sure that was the original intent. But when you zoom in a bit without considering context, you very well might end up seeing something VERY different! Don’t get distracted: there’s more to this than meets the eye!
To Love All Requires Us To Look Carefully:

See The Setting Of The Season ~ Luke 2:1-7
This story begins in humility. It is a humble night, in an out of the way town. A young family traveling at the beck and call of political decrees. Immediately on the surface of the story it seems political power plays will determine where Jesus will be born. Caesar utters a royal edict for taxation purposes that pushes everyone back to their hometown. So even though it’s probably not ideal to travel on a donkey when your 9 months pregnant, Mary and Joseph set off on the trip home.

Comprehend The Context of Christmas ~ Micah 5:2
We could consider that it well might have been Joseph’s family home. The town is anywhere from 300 to 1000 people in size. The census would gather the whole extended family into town and they would all stay at the family house. This family is in the line of David, a respectable family.
So why would the phrase “there was no room” be the answer given to family? Consider that Joseph’s family was probably ashamed of his then pregnant girlfriend. Mary and Joseph weren’t married yet and here she is about to give birth. This would be, in their time, shameful. This is another way of looking at the context of why the king will be born into a manger.
Again, what headline are you going to pay attention to? The knocked up fiancé? Or the Virgin birth?

Spot The Shepherds Among Us ~ Luke 2:8-16
During this time period, shepherds are some of the most lowly of characters; nobodies, often living on the margins of society. But God loves shepherds, these caretakers, watching over helpless animals. Every day, every night, tending, making sure the sheep are cared for. It’s detailed work in that you have be attentive to the needs of the animals.
And so it’s fitting, when Gods son is born, the only ones told are shepherds. Not the rulers, not the politicians, not the financiers, the CEO’s. Nope, the guys out working the field get the news. The host of angels comes to them, this humble group of shepherds.

Confirm The Choice To Love
Don’t judge Christmas by how it looks currently in our culture, not all is as it seems. Christmas is a deeply subversive story about a young family navigating political policies, and family shame. It’s about workers on the edge of society, in overlooked towns. It also happens to be story of how the world was saved.
This Christmas the invitation is to scratch beneath the surface of the headlines, to pay attention to God’s story and what he is doing. To see glory in humility. God loves to work in the margins with those who have been overlooked. Its why we have chosen to spend less on the flash of Christmas and decided to love those who have been neglected. To go to the places that don’t grab the headlines, to see the needs in our very own city, and pay attention to the people here. To do the hard work of caring and looking to the needs of others.

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