I am old enough to have an appreciation for radio shows. This was back in the dark ages without cable TV, internet, cell phones or streaming anything! My personal entertainment center consisted of a small transistor radio kit I made with my dad’s help that I could get one radio station on, but what a great station it was - WCCO. That seems like it was just yesterday. I also have wonderful memories of our family driving down the road listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theater. I talked about it so much that, a number of years ago, for Christmas Barb bought me a set of recordings of the program that contained over 1000 episodes. When I listen to these I can close my eyes and imagine it’s 1972 and I’m sitting in the backseat of our old red VW bug.
Another radio show I enjoyed immensely actually had only 81 episodes but it still brings back plenty of pleasant memories. The host and writer of the show was a man with a glorious voice by the name of Paul Harvey. The premise was that a story would be told in a way that always had an interesting unfolding and then at a certain time the story would take a turn that was unique and surprising. After the story the episode would conclude with Harvey saying “And now you know the rest of the story.” I loved it!
This is a fitting lead in to the message for Sunday. Here we are in the glorious season of Advent and Christmas but our text is coming from Luke 22-23. The season properly points us to Bethlehem but our message for Sunday will bring us to the trial and crucifixion of the Christ child 33 years later. The Christmas celebration is only such incredibly Good News because of the Rest of the Story.
The message of Christmas cannot be told properly without telling the whole story. Any part of Jesus’ life removed from the entire revelation will be incomplete at best and more than likely it will be skewed to emphasize one aspect of Jesus against another, instead of it all united perfectly to deliver one amazing reality. God came for us to bring us back home! Jesus came for you and me.
The “Rest of the Story” will help us to understand that:
God’s love is perfectly paired with God’s perfection.
God’s justice is flawlessly joined to His mercy.
God’s omnipotence operates with a gentle tenderness.
God’s Sovereign rule isn’t compromised by individual responsibility.
The Grace of God comes to us with faultless holiness.
Jesus is fully God and fully man.
The Baby in the manger and the man on the Cross is the King of all Kings.
The list could go on and on but the point is that God not only invites us to know, but tells us it is imperative to know the rest of the Story. The Christmas Child came for you and the Cross. He entered the chaos of our world to bring peace. To know the whole story is to believe that Jesus came to set all of humanity free and isn’t that magnificent? As good as that universal invitation is I think to know the rest of the story is to know that he came for you individually. He is your Almighty Creator and your personal tender Savior. The rest of the story continues to be told today in your life!
Living in the Story,
Pastor Nick Mundis