THE CHRISTMAS BARN DOOR
It is the simplest and yet most profound way of saying that it never happened before, and that it would never happen again. It is the wonder of wonders that it happened at all!
Heaven is now open to sinners 😥!
The one and only open door 🚪 to Heaven has come to earth! Without Christmas, HEAVEN would be closed to sinners forever!
The only entrance 🚪 to the Kingdom of Heaven is in a stable where cattle are lowing and the poor babe awakes. We wouldn’t find it in a million years had not WISE MEN FROM THE EAST LED US THERE!
You won’t find the DOOR 🚪 in Lowes or Home Depot or at your local contractor. You won’t find it in the Temple or the Synagogue! You can only find it in a cattle shed 🐄🐮🐴 in a little town called Bethlehem! In those days you would be hard put to find Bethlehem on a map.
Wouldn’t you know it? The door 🚪 to the Kingdom of God is a BARN DOOR! Not a castle door! Not a church door! Not even a house door! You will find HEAVEN’S DOOR in a lowly manger, a farmer’s feeding trough. Not exactly a gate of splendor! You will find the DOOR in a BARN! A BARN DOOR!
It was a highly customized door:
1. It has to be FLAWLESS, no slivers, no knotholes, perfection. A perfect door!
2. It had to be made of complete humanness. A partly human door will not work. A partly human door would jam, and people would get stuck in the door jam.
3. It had to be reinforced with TOTAL DIVINITY. Otherwise the fiery winds of Hell would blow 🌀 and burn 🔥 it down 🔽.
4. The HOLY SPIRIT would construct the DOOR, AND HIS WORKSHOP WOULD BE THE WOMB OF A VIRGIN NAMED MARY. A TEEN AGER WHO TOLD AN ANGEL TO ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GET THE JOB DONE. So in her young delicate womb the DOOR TO HEAVEN BEGAN TO FORM! GOD OPENS DOORS THAT NO MAN CAN SHUT!
In C.S. Lewis’ CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, it was a DOOR TO A WARDROBE CLOSET that led not to a BABY 🚼 JESUS KING 👑, but to a LION 😾 ASLAN KING 👑. The meaning is the same, for In the Bible Jesus is called THE LION OF JUDAH!
The manger babe 👶 would eventually call Himself the DOOR (GATE) (John 10:7). It swings both ways, open 🔲 and shut 🔳. It has stayed open to this very day! The day of Grace! THE DAY OF THE OPEN DOOR!
ONE DOOR AND ONLY ONE, AND YET THE SIDES ARE TWO, I’M IN THE INSIDE, ON WHICH SIDE ARE YOU?
The door 🚪 of the Ark, the only door, stayed open for 120 years. Then it closed, never to be opened again on that SIDE of the flood. The one and only door! It remained open for well over a century, and still no one came through the door save Noah and his family and two of every kind of animal! 🐼🐘🐨🐒🐵🐆🐷🐖🐗🐴🐮🐄🐯🐻🐫🐪🐊🐧…..
The CHRISTMAS DOOR would only be completed on a Cross of wood on a hill called GOLGATHA just outside of Jerusalem. The Door’s keyhole would be made of nail holes, and the only key 🔑 that opens the door is FAITH (EPHESIANS 2:8) No other key will open the door. The BABE is the DOOR, and your FAITH is the KEY! ONE DOOR AND ONLY ONE! ONE KEY AND ONLY ONE!
Perhaps that is why two of the Bethlehem Babe’s designations in the Bible are the ➡FIRST and the LAST⬅. He is the first door to Heaven, and He is the last! Both the ORIGINAL and the FINALE at the same time. Never before seen 🚼 and never to be seen again 🚼! Unparalleled and unrepeatable!
THE CHRISTMAS ORIGINAL
The FIRST to ever be born 👱 like this, and the LAST to ever be born👱like this. The HOLY SPIRIT’S one of a kind MASTERPIECE! A virgin pregnant with the PERFECT-God-Man-Baby!
The great Originator brings forth His ORIGINAL, His one of a kind, never to be copied! History has never seen this before, and will never see it again! One of kind ▶, and once and for all◀.
God 🔵 become man 👤. The Divine become human. The Almighty become weakness. The Eternal become temporal. The Creator become the created. The Father become a child. The Infinite become an infant.
Merry 🎀 Christmas 🎄. With His highest hand, only God can transcend the usual course of nature. If nature were never changed, it would be it’s own god! The ultimate immutable!
But God alters the natural! Bushes on fire that don’t 🔥burn! Water 🌊 that stacks up like cord wood. Fish 🐟 that carry in them tax money 💰 just in time. A 🚺 womb pregnant without a sperm. The Supernatural transcends 🌋 the natural!
With God, nothing is automatic or predictable. He is not a machine 🏯 functioning with automaton precision!
The Lord of Heaven birthed as the Babe of Bethlehem. A lone STAR 🌟 shining from Heaven to the lowly earth, and an angelic chorus 👼👼👼👼👼on earth singing to the highest Heaven. Shining and singing the greatest blessing 🚼 that God ever sent upon mankind! Our Blessed Savior – THE BABY JESUS!
THE WISE MEN
NOW WE ARE GETTING SOMEWHERE! FOLLOW THE WISEMEN WHO ARE FOLLOWING HEAVEN’S MIRACLE STAR. THEY ARE OUR CHRISTMAS GUIDES! THEY ARE ALSO ASTRONOMERS OF SORTS. STICK CLOSE TO THEM.
CENTER STAGE! Up front and most prominent! When the Manger Curtain goes up, there they are. The original Christmas caste of characters.
Not a Jewish or Roman visitor in sight! Not a Pharisee or Sadducee. Not a Priest or a Levite. Just exotic foreigners whose dress doesn’t fit the scene! An unorthodox Christmas right out of the gate!
Not in the 🌏 world’s Christmas of course! No, it has it’s own up front and prominent characters! ⛄ 🎄🎅 FROSTY THE SNOWMAN – O CHRISTMAS TREE – SANTA CLAUS. There they are, just to name a few. ALL fictional and imaginary! The world’s alternate Christmas to get their stockings hung by the chimney with care, stuffed and full. It works pretty well every year!
But nothing fictional or imaginary here in Bethlehem. In the Greek the wise men are MAGOI, and in the Latin they are MAGI. It means “THOSE THAT WISELY MEDIATE.” Channels of truth. They point the way 👉👈. They are not called WISE MEN for the fun of it. The designation is intentional.
Historians believe they were from PERSIA, eastward of Judea. (Modern day Iran) They had profound insight into truth – natural, political, and spiritual. You had to be pretty smart to outwit these wise guys. They were not your run of the mill hoi pilloi 💼.
The great counsellors of the Persian 👑 👑👑 kings were called MAGI. Cicero in His writings asserts that no one 👳ever arose to the Persian Throne but had been thoroughly instructed and trained by the MAGI. It was their work to instill into would-be Persian kings the art of government! Special Counsel to Royalty. The King’s Cabinet. Not your ordinary Joes! No insult intended to any Joe out there.
(President Donald Trump had very poor Magi surrounding him. His handling of the lethal pandemic was trite and trivial. His 2020 campaign was nothing more than pep rallies celebrating his accomplishments. No plans for the future to tackle the huge issues of the day! His MAGI were either stupid, or he would not heed their counsel, or both!)
JESUS’ FIRST WORSHIPPING CONGREGANTS
And suddenly here they are! The real original caste of Christmas. Christ’s first congregation of worshippers! The Church of the Stable! Persians mind you! As it were, out of nowhere. Who would have ever guessed?
They made quite a splash 🌊. We read in Matthew 2:1-2,
“BEHOLD WISE MEN FROM THE EAST CAME TO JERUSALEM SAYING, ‘WHERE IS HE THAT IS BORN KING OF THE JEWS, WE HAVE SEEN HIS STAR 🌟 IN THE EAST, AND WE HAVE COME TO WORSHIP HIM.'”
BEHOLD! WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS! They made a long journey 🐪🐫🐪from at that time the world’s largest Empire – PERSIA under XERSES THE GREAT to worship JESUS THE TINY! BEHOLD!
As the Christmas Carole goes:
“WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT ARE,
BEARING GIFTS 🎁🎁🎁 WE TRAVEL AFAR, FIELD AND FOUNTAIN, MOOR AND MOUNTAIN, FOLLOWING YONDER STAR.”
They were on a mission guided by an Eastern Star 🌟 as their very own GPS. They were not on a holiday! No, it was not HAPPY HOLIDAYS! They were not simply tourists 🎎 in the holy land who coincidently showed up in Jerusalem. They were not newspaper reporters who smelled a scoop 📝.
They were on a very specific mission! THEY HAD TRAVELED LONG AND HARD TO FIND AND WORSHIP THE BABY 🚼 KING OF THE JEWS.
(HEROD THE CRAZED LUNATIC tried to use them to find this new royal rival. Not to worship Him, but to assassinate the BABY 🚼 KING 👑. It didn’t work, as the angel of the Lord intervened and told them to have nothing to do with crazy King Herod)
And that is exactly what then happened. They followed the miracle star 🌟, found the BABY KING, AND MATTHEW 2:13 SAYS,
“THEY FELL DOWN ⏬ AND WORSHIPPED ⏫ HIM!”
BWAM! It was like they were knocked over by the wind of the Spirit Who had created the first nativity scene.
Down they went! We’re they exhausted? No, they were overwhelmed! They did not kneel down! They fell down! They cast themselves before the BABE in humble and total reverence and submission!
It was not a protocol curtsy in Westminster Cathedral. This was not a proper, practiced bow from the waist. This had nothing to do with royal decorum 🔤.
This was worship in its truest and fullest and most unrestrained sense! They had followed the 🌟 star, and now they fell on their faces before Him Who created the stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.
It was in fact the VERY FIRST CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SERVICE ON FALLEN FACES AT THE TINY FEET OF THE NEWBORN KING! A CHRISTMAS FIRST IN EVERY DIMENSION!
Spontaneous! Unrehearsed! Uncontrolled! No “what a cute little boy!” No “congratulations to parents!” No “cooing to tiny cuddles.” No “He looks just like His Daddy!” No “Daddy cigars to the Maji!” No , none of that! There was no time for pleasantries or small talk! They no sooner entered the barn nursery, and they went down. Splat! They really didn’t know what hit them.
They were accustomed to royalty 👑! They knew all about court gestures and throne room etiquette. Pomp and Circumstance was their forte 💂! It was rote and routine!
You can observe all of that and still be UNDERWHELMED! It can become mere form with no substance!
But here with absolutely no pomp or circumstance they are totally OVERWHELMED! Deep within their hearts they sensed supremacy hithertofore unknown! This was not just a king, or for that matter a Jewish king! This is THE KING 👑 OF 👑KINGS, and this is THE LORD 🔵 OF LORDS 🔵.
They found themselves helpless before the BABE of Bethlehem. They were flattened, their wills totally bowed, their hearts like jelly, their minds like puddy in the hands of Him Who is HEAVEN’S WISDOM PERSONIFIED. They no longer belonged to themselves. They are now captured by the BABY KING!
They then LAVISH the child with gifts only fit for a king! GOLD 💴, FRANKENCENSE 💵, and MYRRH 💶. This was not a baby shower! This was a STATE VISIT with the finest that the Persian Empire had to offer! Certainly not baby things! They spoke of HONOR AND ALLEGIANCE TO ONE WHO IS FAR SUPERIOR!
In case you haven’t noticed, they 🎍 just now entered the door of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are told they returned home a different ♐ way. They didn’t have to obey the angel who warned them not to go back to crazy Herod. But they did obey, for when you make Jesus your King, you always go a different 🆕 way!
THE CHRISTMAS STAR 🌟
MATTHEW 2:2 tells us that they SAW HIS STAR 🌟! The Baby’s Own Personal Star. Somehow they knew that this STAR had KINGSHIP shining all over it! They followed this STARSHIP as it sailed through the night sky. It did not disappoint, as it led them to royalty 👑 unimagined!
I am sure that Father God made this stellar tribute just for His Son. It is now shining brightly over His only begotten baby boy! It is Abba’s way of saying that Jesus is the STAR 🌟 OF HIS LIFE!
Remember when Jesus lit up brighter than the noonday sun on the Mt. of Transfiguration? The voice of His Father shouted from Heaven,
“THIS IS MY SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.”
“THIS IS MY BOY, AND I AM SO VERY PROUD OF HIM.”
Then Abba lit Him up out shining the sun 🌞🌝 at its zenith! The Father is always showcasing 🌅His Son! As a matter of fact, in Heaven there will be no more SUN, just the SON! JESUS WILL LIGHT UP HEAVEN, as the Father’s Boy will be the Heavenly Father’s Glory! Forever!
STAR OF WONDER, STAR OF NIGHT, STAR WITH ROYAL BEAUTY BRIGHT, WESTWARD LEANING 🌠, STILL PROCEEDING, GUIDE US TO THY PERFECT LIGHT.