I am excited about our Christmas worship theme at First Baptist Riverside: "Come to the Manger." God invites us to come to the manger and encounter the living Christ. As far as I am concerned, the Incarnation, that God became a human being, one of us, and lived among us, is the greatest miracle in human history. Without Jesus coming to earth in a human body, we would be without the best revelation of God there is, there would be no forgiveness of sin, no relationship with a holy God, no salvation, no hope of eternal life. Nothing Jesus did for us could have happened if he wasn't first born in Bethlehem some 2,020 years ago.
This Sunday I'll be preaching on "The Humble Come." Think about the humility that is present in the Christmas story. The baby Jesus left heaven to come to the manger. Joseph and Mary were humble people, they were not nobility, even if they were the parents of the king. The location was humble, Jesus was born in a stable in the little town of Bethlehem, not in a palace in Jerusalem. The mode of transportation was humble. We think of Mary, nine months pregnant riding on a donkey, but it doesn't say she road a donkey anywhere in Scripture. She most likely walked. The shepherds were the itinerant farm laborers of the day, a humble profession.
If we want to have an encounter with the living Christ, we must come to the manger humbly. We don't come arrogantly, making demands of Jesus. We come humbly to understand who he is, what he did for us, and the hope we have in life because we know him. Jesus is our Lord and we come to prostrate ourselves before him and worship him. If you want to encounter the living Christ this Christmas, you must come to the manger humbly.
I invite you to join us this Sunday, and the weeks ahead, for a life-changing series of message challenging you to "Come to the Manger." This Sunday be one of the humble who come. We worship Sundays at 9:00 a.m. (traditional) and 10:45 a.m. (contemporary). We hope you'll choose to spend your Christmas with us - but more importantly that you'll spend it at the Manger with Jesus.