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The Good Word of the Lord
Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-16
Track 1 of 5 in the Transforming Story: The Tale Begins--Again series
Running time: 28 minutes, 32 seconds.

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Chuck Sackett Speaker: Chuck Sackett
Dr. G. Charles Sackett is minister of Madison Park Christian Church.

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Do you suppose stables in the first century were like the stables of today? Oh, not like the new modern stainless-steel-and-concrete-sprayed-out-daily-with-a-hose kind of stables. I mean, like the stables on the old family farm . . . you know the kind . . . the kind you shovel out. The kind where the wood has absorbed the odors and the troughs are worn like a serrated knife from years of animals feeding in their favorite spot.

Jesus was born in a stable. No one expected that. For centuries the Jewish people awaited the Messiah. They longed for the one who would free them from oppression. They yearned for the one who would return the land to their possession. They hungered for the one who would return their respect among the other nations. They anticipated the coming of the king.

"Isn't this the carpenter's son?" they asked. It wasn't merely a question of recognition. It was a question of position. The Messiah could never be just a carpenter's con. Especially not one whose mother was pregnant before she was married, born out of wedlock and living in the tiny village of Nazareth. He just didn't fit the image. He wasn't what they expected.

A fourth century martyr reminds us . . . "If He had been born to high rank and amidst luxury, unbelievers would have said the world had been transformed by wealth. If He had chosen as His birthplace the great city of Rome, they would have thought the transformation had been brought about by civil power. Suppose He had been the son of an emperor. They would have said 'How useful it is to be powerful!' Imagine Him the son of a senator. It would have been 'Look what can be accomplished by legislation!' But in fact, what did He do? He chose surroundings that were poor and simple, so ordinary as to be almost unnoticed, so that people would know it was the Godhead alone that had changed the world. This was His reason for choosing His mother from among the poor of a very poor country, and for becoming poor Himself." --Theodotus of Ancyra

Just who are you expecting this Christmas?