I AM DOING A NEW THING.
WILL YOU MAKE ROOM?
Isaiah 43:18-19; Luke 2:1-20
For several weeks now we have used Isaiah as the starting point for our scripture and our message. We have read in Isaiah God’s people were told someone would come to prepare the people for what was about to happen. Then they were told the unbelievable way God would bring things about to change the world. Of all things Isaiah told them a virgin would have a child and this is how it would all begin. Continuing in Isaiah today, we see God is warning and encouraging his people to forget the past, He is going to do a new thing. God said, “I am going to change everything.” God asks the question, “Do you believe it?”
We move ahead to the 2nd chapter of Luke. After 700 years God is fulfilling the promises made so long ago. After 700 years though, it is hard to tell how many had still held onto the promise made through Isaiah to God’s people. Had it been lost through the years? Had the people simply conceded that God is never going to change the way things are? What is the use believing anything will ever change?
So now here we are in Luke seeing how God’s timing is at work. First the Savior is to come from Bethlehem as written hundreds of years earlier in Micah 5:2. God has to see to it Joseph and Mary leave Nazareth where they lived and are at Bethlehem at just the right time. After all, God keeps his promises. Then God wanted to make sure it was recorded for all time the Savior of the world did not enter this world in the most comfortable setting. The way Jesus came into the world was a preview of how many would not make room for the Savior of the world, not just in their homes but their hearts.
The first to greet Jesus into the world were not kings and queens. It was not priests or other important Jewish leaders. No, it was those who maybe were not the most admired or respected in their world. The first to greet the Savior of the world were shepherds who were in a nearby field. The shepherds first had to overcome their doubts and fears of what they said and heard.
We at times think what some experienced in the Bible was not that hard to accept. Many of us have read or heard these stories so many times they just become easy to accept. But just as you and I would be asking ourselves, “Am I really seeing and hearing what I think or am I dreaming or what?” On this occasion, in spite of how powerful this experience was for the shepherds, this was a lot to take in. First an angel appears out of nowhere. Then, as if that were not enough, a choir of angels appear and start singing a song proclaiming what was happening. To say this is not something the shepherds experienced everyday would be an understatement. Once the angels left the shepherds, you can bet they began to talk to one another making sure they all agreed they had seen the same thing. Then once they calmed down, they probably said to each other, “Well there is one way to prove whether we have been out with the sheep too long and simply need a break or whether something really special is happening that we were the first to learn about.”
Not many babies are going to be born in a manger and the odds of a baby being in a manger like they were told is going to be about zero unless God is behind this. So off they go to Bethlehem. When the shepherds got there, they found everything to be just like they were told. They were so excited they told Mary and Joseph everything they had seen and heard that evening. We see that Mary stored all those things in her heart. Even though we do not know Joseph’s reaction, you have to know once again it was confirmed to him this is where God wanted him. How blessed both Mary and Joseph had to feel to be part of what God was about to do.
When Jesus came to the world, the world was lost in spiritual darkness, even God’s people had mostly lost their way. How much different is our world today? It would be easy to say, “What’s the use? Nothing is going to get better or change.” But the Savior of the world did come to shine light in the darkness. Jesus is still changing lives. The baby born over 2,000 years ago in that manger is still transforming lives. As we close this morning, I would like to ask two basic questions.
1.) Do we believe God did and is still doing a new thing?
2.) Will we, have we, made room in our hearts for the Savior of the world?
I pray each and every one of us is able to answer these questions yes I do and yes I have. This is the message we need to pray for the world to receive as well. Nothing will ever truly change in our lives or in our world until we make room in our hearts for Jesus.