And, well, Tis the season to nick other preacher's talks. So if anyone wants to plunder, here are some child friendly slides on perhaps the second best Christmas text (after Hebrews 2) - Galatians 4:4-6:
1. Everyone loves a wedding
2. Well... ahem... most people love weddings.
3. But can you imagine if Prince William wasn't marrying the beautiful Kate? What if he was marrying a right old hag?
4. In fact, imagine he married on old leathery homeless woman
5. Don't get me wrong, Prince William spends time with the homeless.
6. Last year he even spent a whole night sleeping rough. But that made the news because it was so odd.
Can you imagine if Prince William set his heart on a homeless woman and decided to win her heart by becoming homeless? Not just for one night, but for life??! You say, that's ridiculous, it would never happen. I tell you, it has happened. But not with Prince William. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, did something even more amazing.
7. Galatians 4:4. He didn't just leave a palace, He left heaven. And He didn't just put on homeless clothing, He became one of us in every way.
8. At 4 weeks He was no bigger than a watermelon pip.
9. At 6 weeks, no bigger than a baked bean.
10. At 12 weeks, no bigger than a small tomato.
11. At 20 weeks, the size of an orange.
12. At 32 weeks, the size of a small cabbage (if anyone's pregnant here, I'm sorry if I'm making you queasy!)
13. And then born as a wriggling, speechless, helpless baby. Amazing.
14. We have fairytales about a prince who became a pauper. But this is so much bigger.
15. CS Lewis once asked whether you'd become a dog if it meant saving your dog. Would you? Of course you wouldn't.
But Jesus left heaven to become a wriggling baby for you and me. And to remain a human being forevermore. Isn't it amazing - a member of the Trinity is now a member of the human race. A member of the human race is a member of the Trinity! But why did He do it?
16. Gal 4:5. To redeem us who are under law. What's it mean to be under law?
17. In the OT there were rules about what it meant to be in God's family. Family manners! Actually it was all about what Jesus, the Son of God, would do when He was born. But the people of the OT were asked to behave with family manners. Do you think we're very good at obeying God's law? Nah. Some of us shake our fist and say No Way!
18. Others say "I will!" but we don't really mean it. No-one really behaves with family manners. No-one actually lives up to God's law. But then...
19. Jesus came. And He is God's Son. So how do you think He is at family manners? He's a natural!!
20. God loves His obedient Son Jesus. But our verse tells us that Jesus obeys God's law so that we can get all the stuff that's owing to Jesus. God says of Jesus "You are my beloved Son." But because Jesus obeys the law for us, God says the same thing to us "You are my beloved sons and daughters."
You might wonder how that works. Well remember the royal wedding?
21. Right now, Is Kate Middleton royalty? No. Does she have any royal power? No. Does she have royal wealth? No. But the second she marries William she gets it all. Family, power, wealth. And best of all... what's the best thing about marrying the Prince??
22. You get the Prince. The second she says "I will" she is united to her Prince charming.
And you know what else Kate can do? She can call the future King of England, 'father.' (She's quite posh so I imagine she'll call him 'Papa') But that's another privilege of marrying into royalty. She'll be able to call the king, daddy.
Well my friends. Our Prince Charming, Jesus Christ, has left the palace of heaven. He's joined us in our kind of life. And He's lived the life we ought to live before God...
23. And just as God says to Jesus "You are my beloved Son", so He says it to everyone who is united to Jesus.
24. And just as Jesus gets to call God "Daddy!"....
25. ... So we get to call God "Daddy!"
Could that be true? Do we really get to call the King of Heaven "Daddy"?? Yes...
26. Gal 4:6
27. Just as Jesus calls God, 'Daddy'...
28. So everyone who says "Yes" to Jesus is brought into the family by the Spirit. And we get to call God "Daddy" too!
29. So what's Christmas all about? He became what we are so that we might become what He is!