Summary: Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and experiencing His joy, peace and hope.
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
(Dec. 2012 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
OPENING THOUGHT: Christmas… is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
• Many people find this season stressful and depressing. Remembering the loss of a loved one, or the pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas can overwhelm people.
“Wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.” (Isaiah 8:22, NLT).
• Isn’t this a picture of the world we’re living in today? Darkness, depression, despair?
“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever… The people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.” (Isaiah 9:1-2, NLT).
• That light is talking about the coming of Jesus 2,000 years ago! (see Matt. 4:12-16).
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, NLT).
• Jesus is wonderful, counselor (knows how to help us), mighty (has the ability to help us), father (cares for his children) and peace (in the midst of our storms and darkness!).
THE CHRISTMAS STORY DRAMATIZED #1: LUKE 2:1-21:
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another,
"Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
1. They were religious outcasts and considered unclean by the Jewish religious law.
2. Their jobs kept them from regularly attending church – like a truck driver or shift worker.
3. They were social outcasts, constantly on the move, regarded with suspicion.
4. They were accused of being thieves, didn’t have much contact with other people.
5. Their job was lonely, wearisome, often boring, tedious and dangerous.
6. They had hours with nothing to do but watch sheep eat grass (does that make you feel any better about your job?).
7. It is surprising then that these are the people that God chose to send His angels to, to announce the birth of Jesus! They were nobodies, outcasts, and underdogs.
8. This is the Good News of the Christmas message – peace on earth, good will toward ALL people – underdogs, outcasts, and screw-ups.