Summary: Exposition Luke 2:1-20
3 Christmas Presents You Don’t Have to Wait to Open
Luke 2:1-20 (v. 10-14)
It’s Christmas Eve—almost time to open the presents.
A little boy wanted a watch very badly for Christmas. Each day, the boy asked about his watch—“Dad can I please have a watch? Mom I really need a watch”, Every time he opened his mouth he was asking again or talking about a watch for Christmas. Finally the father told the boy that if he mentioned "watch" one more time, he wouldn’t get one. So the boy kept quiet about his present---until that night at supper. Every night before supper, some member of the family repeated a Bible verse before asking the blessing. The boy was eager to share the verse he had memorized that day, so just before they prayed, he recited Mark 13:37--"And what I say unto you, I say unto all--Watch."
According to a survey by the Roper Organization (who also claim to know when we are sleeping and know when we’re awake) 68% of Americans will open presents each year. What they don’t pretend to know is when and where you will open the gifts.
Where will you open your presents? Some you open at home, taken from your stocking or from under the tree. Others at grandma & grandpa’s house, or the home of some other extended family or friends. Some Christmas gifts even get opened here at church.
When will you open your presents? Ah, that is the all-important question. For some that depends on when Santa drops by. You might be one of those parents who let the kids open all their gifts on Christmas Eve. Or perhaps you’re one of those sadistic parents (such as my wife and I) who make the kids wait until after breakfast on Christmas morning to tear into the wrapping paper. But like it or not, waiting is part of the game of gift-giving.
What if I offered you some Christmas presents you can open right here, right now? No, I didn’t get special permission from Santa. I don’t have any 4 wheelers or DVD players or bikes for you to unwrap early. You’ll have to wait to unwrap those kinds of gifts.
But there are some Christmas gifts you can unwrap right now, without any wait. In Luke 2:10-14, I find 3 of these gifts God gave us through the birth of Jesus. See if you can find them as I read Luke 2:1-20.
I. FREEDOM FROM FEAR Do not be afraid…
Everybody is scared of something. But we’re not all scared of the same things.
A recent survey asked people to list their # 1 fear. The fear of death was # 7. What was the # 1 fear? Speaking before an audience.
Some fears are easy to cure: if you’re scared to fly, stay on the ground. Afraid of snakes? They’re easy to avoid if you really try. But other fears you must face.
Being afraid of the future won’t stop the future from happening. Fear of losing those you love won’t allow you to hold on to them longer. Eventually everybody dies, no matter how it frightens you. How do you handle these kinds of fear? When that angel says Do not be afraid, he’s also saying through that Baby in the manger, God offers you the gift of freedom from fear.
What fears does Christ offer us freedom from? Time permits me to only mention two:
Fear of the future. There’s another word for fear of the future- worry. Worry is being afraid of what might happen, or of what we are convinced will happen. Of course, nobody but God knows what will happen, but that doesn’t keep us from speculating and expecting the worst. How will I handle what will happen? What if it’s too much for me to handle? What if I fail or fall? What if I lose what I have—lose those I love-- How can I face it? The Baby in Bethlehem’s manger grew up to be a Man Who promised us freedom from the fear of the future:
Matthew 6:25, 32-34 25“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?... 32…For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Jesus says Don’t worry about tomorrow—the same God Who watches out for the rest of creation keeps a close eye on you, too. Jesus was born to remind us of God’s love for us—a love that frees us from fear by giving us confidence that God can take care of all our tomorrows. That includes another fear He offers us freedom from: