[This sermon is contributed by Hal Seed of New Song Church in Oceanside, California and of www.PastorMentor.com. Hal is the author of numerous books including The God Questions and The Bible Questions. If you are interested in The Bible Questions Church-wide Campaign, please visit and watch Hal’s video at www.PastorMentor.com.]
Note: For those who have the capacity to show PowerPoint presentations, suggestions for picture slides are given in parenthesis inside the sermon’s text. Many of the pictures can be scanned from the book. Others may be available on websites. Words in bold italics are suggestions of slides to be made of Scriptures and other quotes and shown while being quoted during the message. Except where noted, all Scripture quotes are from the NIV.
Good morning everybody!
If you have a Bible, turn in it to Luke 2:1.
There are two primary places in the New Testament where the Christmas story is told. One is Matthew 1-2, the other is Luke 1-2. Matthew tells the story from Joseph’s perspective, Luke tells it from Mary’s perspective.
If you’ve ever seen the Charlie Brown Christmas, these words will be familiar to you:
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:1-7
What if that had never happened?
What if there had never been a Christmas?
This weekend, Disney Studios release a movie called, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (show picture of the book’s cover) While it’s based on a children’s book. Disney believes the film will be their best seller of all times.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is all about Christmas. It’s about a snow-blanketed land called, “Narnia,” (show picture of Narnia) where animals walk and talk, and the land is ruled by a wicked witch (show picture of witch – scanned from book cover) whose magic spell keeps the entire land always winter, but never Christmas. – Can you think of anything worse than that?
Always winter, never Christmas.
For those of you who haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I’m going to take a perverse pleasure in ruining part of it for you by telling you that the book is about four children who find their way into this fairy tale land and what happens to them there.
The four children are named Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy (show picture of them). This may sound a little strange to those of us who haven’t experienced the story yet, but the children discover Narnia by walking through an old English wardrobe (show wardrobe) that is a kind of secret passageway into this alternative world.