When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
I want to start by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas on behalf of Diamond, Judah, and myself. Diamond and I certainly received our Christmas Gift early on August 4th when our joy boy, Judah Isaac Friedel came into this world. This is truly shaping up to be the greatest Christmas ever for the Friedel Family.
As we enter into this Christmas season, we are not only celebrating santa claus. We are not celebrating the fact we get to open presents and get a day off from work, or even how we get to stuff our face full of delicious Christmas ham. No, we are celebrating the night two thousand and eleven years ago when the Son of God became the son of man, so that the sons of man can become the Sons of God.
Most of us have heard the story of the three wise men who saw a glorious star shining in the Arabian sky. This star was so beautiful and bright and it lit up the entire sky. Boy, did these three wise men get excited and so began their famous quest to chase down their star. They started their journey with such hope, joy, and anticipation. They knew this star would lead them to their Savior. This great journey lasted for months and then those months turned into years, until finally their star led them to of all places: a dirty, smelly, and old stable.
What I love about these wise men is that just because they followed the star and it led them to a smelly place, they didn’t get discouraged and give up. They didn’t complain. They didn’t get angry. No, they kept looking for their answer. They kept looking for Jesus and they found their prize in the most unlikely of places.
So what do you do when you follow your star and it leads you to a stable?
See, these wise men were not expecting to end up in a dirty and smelly stable. They were expecting a palace. I mean surely the Son of God would be born in a mansion with servants, golden crib, diamond pacifier, and everything a king deserves. But He wasn’t in a palace, He was in a stable.
I believe many of us can relate to this story. Maybe you are reading this letter and you started out chasing a beautiful dream. You started out following your star and you were so full of joy and hope, but along the way your star led you to a stable. It led you to this smelly, lonely, depressing place and it is not at all what you were expecting.
So what do you do when your star, your dream, leads you to a stable?
Maybe you had a great opportunity and you just knew you were going to succeed and get ahead in 2011, but suddenly the bottom fell out and now you’re struggling financially. You really don’t have the money to give your family the things you wish you could this Christmas.
Maybe you started off chasing a beautiful and exciting relationship. You were in love, so much promise and everyone saw an amazing future, but this Christmas for whatever reason you’re by yourself. Your marriage is broken and now you feel like you are in a stable.
Maybe that’s you and you feel like you’re at the lowest point of your life. All you want to do is turn to that bottle or shoot up with drugs just to get through this season. Or you just want to be a victim and blame everybody else. Well, the Holy Spirit has a word for you. You need to do exactly what these wise men did. You need to look for Jesus in that stable because Jesus is in your stable. He is not just with you in your high place when you’re on top. He is not like santa claus, who just because you had a bad year is going to give you a stocking full of coal.
No, the message of Christmas is this………….
God is not simply the God of the palace, He is the God of the stable. He is the God who is still by your side, when you lost it all and you don’t have anyone that seems to care. When no one else is there for you because of your stable season, Jesus is with you. “Lo I am with you always even until the end!”
Weak Christians only serve God in good times, but strong Christians look for Him in those bad times.
The message of Christmas is found even in His name: “Emanuel,” God with us.
He is with you right now, no matter where you are. You may be in a stable this Christmas and it feels like God has abandoned you, God is mad at you or God doesn’t love you. That’s not the voice of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came off His Heavenly throne to be with you in every season of your life. If He is with you, then He is for you. If He is for you, then who can be against you?
Look for Jesus if you are in a stable this Christmas. He is there. Those wise men found their answer in that dirty, smelly stable and you will too.
Pastor Isaac Friedel