Uncomfortable Attention

I’m going to ask one of you to come up here right now.  Just one of you.  Put your hands down (you’re just reading this anyway); I’m not going to take volunteers.  I have to share something with you first.  Did you know that under normal circumstances we don’t like to be singled out?  For example, when I said I was going to pick someone from the audience – a wave of horror came over most of you.  Let’s try this again.  I’m going to ask one of you to come up here, but this time everyone will be able to read your mind, to see the things you hide deep inside, the sins that shame you – everyone will see them.  We’ll post them on the projector screen.  Everyone on the internet will have a window view.  That’s a wave of terror.  The truth is you don’t need to come up here, you can remain in your seats, God can already see straight through you, right down to your cold sinful heart.  That’s uncomfortable attention.

The glory of the Lord does not shine around you to make you afraid.  I say to you with the angel.  Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people!

You’re sitting in class at school or you’re busy at work and a goofy looking fellow rushes up to you and says that he has an important message.  All eyes are on you as you sign the receipt and receive your letter.  That scenario is a little uncomfortable, but we’re warmed – not frosted – to know that someone thinks we are so special.

You may have convinced yourself that God wants nothing to do with you, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The truth is that God remembers life back in the garden, he wants that closeness with you.  He wants to hear from you about everything – it’s called prayer.  He has so much he wants to tell you – it’s called the Bible.  Just as God sent a heavenly messenger to a few shepherds, God has sent a messenger to you.  I may not look like an angel, but that’s exactly what God calls me in the Bible.  God knew that you would be sitting here tonight, so he sent me to dispel your fear, and give you a gift.  God thinks you are very special.  Cold sinful hearts are warmed by God’s attention and God’s gift. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Want to hear the rest of the sermon, including how God has a trophy waiting for each of us?  Watch this year’s Christmas Eve sermon taken from Luke 2 – Uncomfortable Attention.