Summary: The seven lights of Christmas all focus their beam of light onto the true meaning of Christmas. These beacons of light illuminate Jesus “The Light of the World”- The Messiah born to die so that we could live! Born to die to create and intimate relationshi
The Seven lights of Christmas!
Thesis: The seven lights of Christmas all focus their beam of light onto the true meaning of Christmas. These beacons of light illuminate Jesus “The Light of the World”- The Messiah born to die so that we could live! Born to die to create and intimate relationship with us.
Texts: Isaiah 9:1-7
1Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
We have been captured for the last few weeks in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. We have been dunked into the Christmas movies – the Christmas décor-the Christmas spirit- the Christmas commercialization and so on.
I must admit it has been hard to come from the poverty and need of India right into the Christmas season with all the extravagance. All the spending of money all the “You have to have this for Christmas!” When you compare where I was and where I am it actually seems like a dream. It tugs at your heart and says is this real? Why do we have so much and the Indians possess so little?
Well they possess no material stuff but you know what I noticed about the Christians in India – they do have something we don’t have – They have deep personal relationships with one another. The guys walk down the street holding hands- Pastor Gabriel on one of our road trips sat in the front seat hugging his best friend Pastor David. He even once held my hand and man was I uncomfortable! But they value relationships with others- their lives are relational- they express their love for one another in a physical way. They laugh, giggle, smile, cry, hug, comfort one another, hold hands and genuinely care about the other person’s life and family. They in essence are people who place more value on relationships with others than they do on material things!
I look around at the mad dash to buy-buy and buy and ask myself is this the meaning of Christmas? Then I look around and search for meaningful loving relationships between others and I don’t see it. In my own family I really feel for my mom because my brothers do not value even the relationship of the family unit. It’s impossible to get us together for a time a celebration. My brothers all live their own lives – self centered lives and the value of family and spending time together is not a priority. Everything else in their lives take precedent working, parties, hunting, races you name it. But relationships who needs them!
Yet Christmas is about relationships not about presents- not about what I get or even what I give.
I discovered a recent report done about a couple of surveys one in Japan and one in England about the true meaning of Christmas. This quote comes from Steve Shepherds sermon on Sermon Central called Christmas Concerns:
ILL.- A television interviewer was walking the streets of Tokyo at Christmas time. Much as in America, Christmas shopping is a big commercial success in Japan. The interviewer stopped one young woman on the sidewalk, and asked, "What is the meaning of Christmas?" Laughing, she responded, "I don’t know. Is that the day that Jesus died?"
There was some truth in her answer. The truth is that Christ is dead at Christmas for some people. Many people have only material concerns at Christmas. BUT NOT EVERYONE!
ILL.- A survey taken in England revealed some interesting concerns. Despite spending hours of time and hundreds of pounds (or dollars) on Christmas presents, most Britons would gladly give up their seasonal gifts in favor of more time with friends and family.