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Summary: This sermon looks at items we as followers of Christ should have on our list this Christmas.

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A CHRISTMAS CHECKLIST, …

INTRODUCTION: I AM SURE YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE LYRICS, “HE’S MAKIN A LIST, CHECKIN IT TWICE, ….”. WELL THIS MORNING, I AM NOT LOOKING AT WHETHER WE/I HAVE BEEN NAUGHTY OR NICE THIS YEAR. RATHER, I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST A FEW ITEMS TO PUT ON YOUR CHRISTMAS CHECK LIST (IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY).

I AM SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE NEED FOR A CHECK LIST THIS TIME OF YEAR. THERE ARE TOO MAN Y THINGS HAPPENING IN TOO SHORT OF TIME IN ORDER TO REMEMBER THEM ALL IF WE DO NOT HAVE A LIST.

SO,, AT THE RISK OF OVER LOADING YOU THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON, HERE ARE MY ADDITIONS TO YOUR ALREADY BULGING LIST OF ITEMS THAT NEED YOUR ATTENTION.

1. MAKE SURE YOU FOCUS ON CHRIST THIS CHRISTMAS

MATTHEW 1:18-25 (NIV) THIS IS HOW THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST CAME ABOUT: HIS MOTHER MARY WAS PLEDGED TO BE MARRIED TO JOSEPH, BUT BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, SHE WAS FOUND TO BE WITH CHILD THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT. 19 BECAUSE JOSEPH HER HUSBAND WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN AND DID NOT WANT TO EXPOSE HER TO PUBLIC DISGRACE, HE HAD IN MIND TO DIVORCE HER QUIETLY. 20 BUT AFTER HE HAD CONSIDERED THIS, AN ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARED TO HIM IN A DREAM AND SAID, "JOSEPH SON OF DAVID, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TAKE MARY HOME AS YOUR WIFE, BECAUSE WHAT IS CONCEIVED IN HER IS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT. 21 SHE WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A SON, AND YOU ARE TO GIVE HIM THE NAME JESUS, BECAUSE HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS." 22 ALL THIS TOOK PLACE TO FULFILL WHAT THE LORD HAD SAID THROUGH THE PROPHET: 23 "THE VIRGIN WILL BE WITH CHILD AND WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A SON, AND THEY WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL"--WHICH MEANS, "GOD WITH US." 24 WHEN JOSEPH WOKE UP, HE DID WHAT THE ANGEL OF THE LORD HAD COMMANDED HIM AND TOOK MARY HOME AS HIS WIFE. 25 BUT HE HAD NO UNION WITH HER UNTIL SHE GAVE BIRTH TO A SON. AND HE GAVE HIM THE NAME JESUS.

a. WE CANNOT GET AWAY FROM A GREATER AND GREATER SECULAR FOCUS WITH EACH PASSING CHRISTMAS

b. SOME EXAMPLES

i. HAPPY HOLIDAYS ARE NOW THE NORMAL CHRISTMAS GREETING.

ii. A BEAMING RHODE ISLAND GOV. LINCOLN CHAFEE CALMLY WEATHERED A CROSS-COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CONTROVERSY YESTERDAY, STANDING BY HIS PC PRONOUNCEMENT THAT THE 17-FOOT SPRUCE IN THE STATE HOUSE ROTUNDA IS A “HOLIDAY TREE” AS OUTRAGED RESIDENTS CRIED FOUL.

TAKING THE CHRISTMAS OUT OF THE TREE IS IN THE RHODE ISLAND SPIRIT, CHAFEE SAID, INVOKING THE 1663 COLONIAL CHARTER AND THE LEGACY OF STATE FATHER ROGER WILLIAMS.

iii. PRODUCERS OF A NEW THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE VIDEO, POPULAR WITH KIDS AROUND THE WORLD, ARE TAKING HEAT FOR REMOVING ALL REFERENCES TO CHRISTMAS IN A NEW VIDEO SET FOR RELEASE BEFORE THE 2011 CHRISTMAS SEASON. THE STORYLINE IS ABOUT COMPETING TRAINS WHO WANT TO WIN A COVETED PRIZE OF CARRYING ALL THE PRESENTS OF THE CHILDREN DURING A “WINTER HOLIDAY PARTY” FILLED WITH “DECORATED TREES”. ADVANCE WORD OF THE RELEASE OF THE VIDEO HAS PARENT GROUPS UP IN ARMS.

iv. CHRISTMAS HAS BEEN BANNED BY THE RED CROSS FROM ITS 430 FUND-RAISING SHOPS. STAFF HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO TAKE DOWN DECORATIONS AND TO REMOVE ANY OTHER SIGNS OF THE CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL BECAUSE THEY COULD OFFEND MOSLEMS. THE CHARITY’S POLITICALLY-CORRECT MOVE TRIGGERED AN AVALANCHE OF CRITICISM AND MOCKERY LAST NIGHT – FROM CHRISTIANS AND MOSLEMS. CHRISTINE BANKS, A VOLUNTEER AT A RED CROSS SHOP IN NEW ROMNEY, KENT, SAID: ‘WE PUT UP A NATIVITY SCENE IN THE WINDOW AND WERE TOLD TO TAKE IT OUT. IT SEEMS WE CAN’T HAVE ANYTHING THAT MEANS CHRISTMAS. WE’RE ALLOWED TO HAVE SOME TINSEL BUT THAT’S IT.


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