"Forget not all His benefits." Psalms 103:2
Did we need a winter festival (all it is without Jesus) to: hang up lights or drag dead tree inside; get time off work; gifts; carols; more family gatherings; have a use for fruitcake; keep the actors of Hallmark employed have another excuse to watch Die Hard or make sure Amazon, Fed-Ex, and U.P.S. stay in business? These are all fine, but not what we really needed from Christmas- we need:
"Be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother..." (Deuteronomy 17:14-15)
If you have been to a place, how do you know which way to take? You need directions or a guide. Siri is smart, but she can't get us to heaven. Christmas is the account of God sending the King we needed to teach, guide, protect, and point us back to our Father. Jesus said, "I am the way... No one comes to the Father except through me."
"Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins." Hebrews 5:1
The duty of a priest was to represent God's word, ways, and will to the people and then represent them to God. As the go between, he mediated the release of his own kind from the penalty of sin. Jesus had to become one of us (except sin) in order to be one of us. Only like and kind can represent like and kind. This is why Jesus was born.
...And a Living Savior.
"Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil." (Hebrews 2:14).
Who needs a living Savior, not some dead religion hanging around our necks making ys feel like we are good people, or some lifeless literary we say to make us sound holy. The truth is, these don't work. God created us for relationship, not religion. Jesus came to earth so He could relate to us and to make us holy so we could relate to God.
From sermon notes from December 19, 2021