The Christmas Journey: No Place Like Home - 12/25/2011

Sermon text:  Matthew 2:19-23

We’ve been on a Christmas Journey.

   Four weeks ago we went to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary traveled the 5-day, 90-mile journey because Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor at that time, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. Bethlehem, the House of Bread, made room for Jesus, the Bread of Life so that we might be fed spiritually.

   We then followed them to Egypt because King Herod was furious when he learned that the wise men had disobeyed him. Sending soldiers to Bethlehem, he ordered them to kill every baby boy two years old and under, both in the town and on the nearby farms. They had fled to Egypt to escape the anger of Herod … a king … who was threatened by a baby who would be King … Jesus. But God allowed them to escape because this baby was already the King of Kings.

   We then followed him to Jerusalem as a child. There in Jerusalem, we saw how he grew in his awareness of the special role that he would play one day in the plan of salvation. There in Jerusalem, he recognized God as his “Father”; he is not only the son of Mary but also God’s Son. There in Jerusalem, the gradual realization that he is Emmanuel … God with us … emerges. There in Jerusalem, he knows that through his life and mission LOVE will become real. Then, 18 years later, just to the East of Jerusalem, at the Jordon River, we see an even greater confirmation of all of this at his baptism by John, when a voice came from heaven and said, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22)

   And so, we followed Him to Bethlehem, we followed Him to Egypt, we followed Him to Jerusalem, and NOW we follow Jesus to what would become his home … Nazareth. … Read full sermon here (PDF)