Summary: Each Christmas we get gifts under the tree but this year lets get 3 Gifts that we need more than any other gift....The Gift of Life...Eternal Life
THREE CHRISTMAS GIFTS WE NEED
(Read Luke 2: 1-20)
Is Christmas merely a ritual for you? Or is it a Relationship? For many people, Christmas is tradition. We use the same type decorations our parents did when we were children.
We go to the same places to shop every year. It’s like a playing a tape that we’ve heard over and over for years.
And I hope that these quiet, precious truths that we’ll talk about this morning will just fill our hearts and take an important place in our lives, here at Christmastime.
There are three GIFTS we need at Christmas to bring about the real, living, dynamic dimension of Christmas that is so often lost in the celebration of it. Three things to make this a time of spiritual renewal and spiritual growth.
1. FIRST OFF, WE NEED THE GIFT OF A NEW SONG WE CAN SING
THERE are hundreds of Christman songs including the variations "THE FIRST NOEL", "SILENT NIGHT" "O HOLY NIGHT" (one of my favorites) and many many more. They are recognizable to us the moment the piano or organ plays the intro. There is just something electrifying about Christmas that GIVES itself to these glorious melodies and gentle rhymes of praise and worship to the Lord.
And, of course, the greatest Christmas song of all is the song the shepherds out there on that Judean hillside heard; The song of the angels: "GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOODWILL TOWARD MEN! And folks, that is a song that we need to sing, not just at Christmas, but throughout the entire year.
I READ THIS ILLUSTRATION RECENTLY:
During World War II, an air strip was built on a small tropical island, way out in the South Pacific. And the chaplain and some others were trying to tell the natives about our Christian faith. Then the orders came to move out on Christmas of 1943. And just before they left, the Americans gave a farewell party with their makeshift gifts, and they tried to explain the beginning of Christmas and the true meaning of the Christmas spirit. A few years later, that same chaplain was on his way to a Far East assignment, so he stopped at this little island. The natives recognized him and met him with excitement and they took him to see the little church that they had built. And over the door was a sign that had these crude but readable words carved on it. "THIS IS OUR CHURCH, BUILT ON FAITH AND BROTHERLY LOVE." The chaplain was so impressed he decided to stay for a worship service. There were no seats, they sat on the floor. And all of the songs they sang, were Christmas songs. After the service the chaplain asked one of the natives why they only sang Christmas carols. The native replied, "After you left, we built the church to worship Jesus. We worship Him with the only service we know; Christmas, the day He was born. EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS HERE. Every day the Christ child is born anew. Our gift is love. So our church, we call it the Christmas church!"
O MY. Is that not what we need dear friend? THE GIFT OF SONG FOR A CHRISTMAS CHURCH!
2. SECONDLY, WE NEED THE GIFT OF A SIGN TO FOLLOW!
There is a bumper sticker I love which simply says: "Wise men still seek Him." They saw that shining star; and were compelled to follow it. You know, it may be that the greatest need of our time and our generation is to find a star-- that is, a one, true, singular goal, or objective, or ideal, upon which we can fix our gaze and move together in that direction. I believe one of the tragedies of our time is that people are pulling in so many different directions that instead of moving TOWARD the kingdom of God, we seem to pull against each other and go NOWHERE!
The wise men were pulled toward Bethlehem be their tradition and training. Let me ask you this morning, "What are you following; What’s pulling you?"
You spend 20 years or more getting educated, another 20 years raising your children, and suddenly you wake up and ask, "What for? To what goal? What is my star?"
The star went before the wise men. God is always going before. God went before Joseph into Egypt. God was in the desert calling the Jews out of slavery. God was in Bethlehem drawing the wise men to the place where the Christ-Child lay. God was calling them to turn their backs on OLD THINGS for a NEW EXPERIENCE.
He’s calling us today for the same goal. WE NEED A stable STAR TO FOLLOW from on high. We need a vision of a better world that we can live and work in.