The 6-Hour Christmas Story Part 3

Bryan Aalborg, pastor of the Foster Seventh-day Adventist church in Asheville, North Carolina, preached this sermon on December 11, 2010

As we INVESTIGATE the major elements surrounding what we call

the Christmas Story –

What happened BEFORE Jesus was born –

What happened AT THE TIME Jesus was born –

And what happened AFTER his birth –

ALL  of these events most likely covered a span of at least

2 ½ to 3 YEARS.

     Obviously about 9 months went by between the visit of the angel to

Mary announcing that she had been selected to be the mother of the Messiah--.

      The shepherds come within  hours, or less when they receive

The angelic announcement in the sky they go immediately to Bethlehem

But the Wise Men were directed by a star --- a STAR!.

Was it an angelic star?  Was that star visible before Jesus was born?

Was it visible to the Wise Men of the East but not visible to the

residents of Judea? Or was it the same light seen by the shepherds on the

night of his birth --

And if it was NOT visible until Jesus let out his first cry after his birth

Then the Wise Men might not have saddled up their camels until a day

or so after Jesus was born – then we’re looking at a long journey.

How long did it take them to travel to Judea from wherever they came -

       By the way, we don’t know whether they rode on camels or not –

The Bible doesn’t say they rode on camels --   it just makes for good

“Nativity Scenes” and sells  a few thousand camels --   

We do know  that he was brought to the temple about 40 days after

He was born --- Luke also tells us that this was done according to the

Law of Moses --  And when we do read the account in Matthew of the visit of the

 Magi you will notice that when they followed the star it came and stood over the

house where the young CHILD was – a young CHILD – not a babe.

It was a babe that the shepherds came to see.   But the Wise Men came to

see a young child.  

        The term used here in the Bible for a young child can refer to some

one who is half grown.

        It is likely then that the Wise Men did not make their visit until Jesus was taken

 on his first dedicatory visit to the temple –

        Months most likely passed – between the birth of Jesus and the

 the arrival of the Wise Men – 

        As they inquired – “Where is he?  Where is he that is born king of the Jews?”

Maybe a year – or more.

 Somehow time seems to have crystallized these events surrounding the birth

of Jesus.-

We have had centuries of art work of the Nativity Scene and music that has

Developed over the centuries -

Customs that have evolved with culture and with time –

And all of this has laid a very fanciful,  fairy-tale-ish tapestry over 

The birth of Jesus –

If we really want to know what it was like

Get rid of all the music that has now nestled its way into our hearts,

Get rid of all the Christmas cards, ---

Get rid of all the decorations, the trees

Park your car in the garage, and be like the Keatons ---

Natalie’s with child.  She’s now in her first trimester.

Let’s imagine she’s in her third trimester.  Indeed at the end of that

Third trimester.   If Natalie wants to find out what it was like at the

time of that first Christmas story she needs to

find a donkey,  and Danny needs to set Natalie upon the back

of that donkey

And then lets say you’ll take a trip to, let’s say, Johnson City

A trip taking three or four days, - and there you are , Danny, pulling

That donkey, and pushing that donkey, not on the shoulder of I-26

But on some little logging trail, or single track that has rocks and ruts in it ---

And when you arrive in Johnson City

Bypass the hospital –

Find some Motel 6

Inquire if they have a room,

But they don’t have a room,

So Danny, you’re going to have to settle for ,

Natalie is going to have to settle for –

A shed, over by a dumpster!

(Danny runs a business called “Danny’s Dumpsters”)

And as Danny has “mid-wived” Natalie –

These red-neck ‘good ol’ boys’ stop by with sheep-manure

On their boots – and want to see your new baby.


Merry Christmas,  Mary!

Merry Christmas, Joseph!

Once upon a Christmas, Christmas was a bit more – earthy!


To Continue this sermon, CLICK HERE