A Sunday school teacher asked her class of kindergarteners to draw a picture of the manger scene at Bethlehem. In the corner of one student’s sketch was a very plump, jolly-looking fellow.
“Tell me about this person,” requested the teacher, pointing to the portly character.
“Oh,” replied the pupil, “that’s Round John Virgin.”
Too often, in our efforts to celebrate Christmas, we get confused about what we’re celebrating, why we’re celebrating it, and who should be the focus of our celebration. That’s why today, we are starting a sermon series designed to lead us to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
In the message the angels delivered to the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth, we discover what Christmas is all about. Christmas is all about God sending His Son to earth. Christmas wasn’t man’s idea, it was God’s idea. Christmas wasn’t man’s initiative, it was God’s initiative. Christmas came about because of God. Today, I want us think about the reasons why God did what He did at Christmas.
1. Christmas occurred because of God’s Desire - v. 10
Christmas came about because of God’s desire to . . .
A. Embrace us with His love - "Good News that will be to all the people"
This world is filled with people who feel lonely and unloved. Pollsters say that one out of five Americans say that life is meaningless.
People do get lonely. We all do. An advertisement placed in a local newspaper was met with an overwhelming response. The ad read, "I’ll listen to you for thirty minutes for $5.00." The telephone rang off the hook. People do get lonely. The renowned Albert Einstein once said, "It’s strange to be known so universally and yet be so personally lonely." But we are not alone. Not with Christ.
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.”
- John 3:16 (Amplified)
"He loves each one of us, as if there were only one of us." - Augustine
A young man sent a love letter to his girlfriend. It read: "Darling, I’d climb the highest mountain, sail the widest ocean, cross the hottest desert just to see you.” P.S. - I’ll be over Saturday night if it doesn’t rain." We chuckle at his fickleness, but feel bad for the girl who, like all of us, longs for love in action, not empty promises.
God does not offer empty promises of love. Through sending His Son, He has fully demonstrated his love for us.
“But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.” - Romans 5:8 (CEV)
Because of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross, we can, through faith in Him, enter into a love relationship with God that is everlasting.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth