Summary: Christmas is more than gifts that I receive or give, it is about the gift that God has given to mankind. It was a gift that many then did not want and many still do not want today, yet it is a gift that all men desperately need.
Christmas Eve 2007- A Gift of One
As the Christmas season approaches my family begins to ask me what I would like for Christmas.
Many items I would like to put on my list- some more expensive than people are going to want to spend.
Most of us can think a gift we would like to receive.
Christmas is more than gifts that I receive/give, it is about the gift that God has given to mankind.
Jn 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son … GNT
It was a gift that …
many then did not want and
many still do not want today,
yet it is a gift- all men desperately need.
Jn 3:19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
The light represents Jesus the Christ, the Messiah.
Christmas season has much to do w/light-
from the lights we put on our Christmas trees,
to the lights we hang on our houses and bushes,
to the eternal light of God, Jesus Christ.
Jn 1:4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. NLT
Darkness cannot extinguish light … the light must be removed to make room for the darkness.
When the Son of God came to earth He released a light that will never be put out.
Christmas time is when we remember this wonderful gift of light that God has given for all mankind.
CS Lewis’- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe-
White Witch- represents evil, causes there always to be winter but never Christmas.
Winter speaks of death and darkness.
Today, Satan, the prince and power of the air, causes-
the human heart to be enshrouded in winter
never to experience- the joy, the life, the light,
of Christmas morning.
We might ask ourselves, how significant can the birth of one, little, baby boy be to the world?
So significant that …
Shepherds would come and worship this baby
Magi would come from the east and recognize this baby as one destined to be a King
Herod- Roman King, would be so threatened by this baby- had 1000’s of male babies killed
Today men struggle w/the importance of- Christmas story, but- ancient world recognized- significance.
Christmas- not just about- birth of baby- about God-
stripping off the glory of heaven and
coming to the world in- form of a naked baby.
God putting on the flesh of man.
What many do not know about Christianity is that God has chosen to identify with their pain, their humanness, their flesh. Mary Ashcroft
As- writer of Hebrews says, we serve a God who has-
been tempted in all things like we have and
can sympathize w/our weaknesses/brokenness.
It started when- power of God overshadowed a young virgin and she conceived a child within her womb.
This child would be both the Son of Man/God.
This Christ child would become the Christ man.
Because of Christmas morning we can celebrate
the death/resurrection of the one who would …
save us from eternal death and
give us the hope of eternal life.
Without Christmas there would be no Easter morning.
It may have started with …
a baby lying in manger, but
this baby became a man who died for our sins.
But that was not the end …
He was resurrected from the dead,
is seated in heavenly places with God, and
He will return again to rule the earth as a King.
Isa 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace … NASU
Yes, this baby born naked in Bethlehem is significant.
Lighting of the Candles
(Instructions- warning to children, parents … take candles home after service if want to) (gift).
Elders please come forward …
Monte, Ralph, John, Bill
We often light candles at Christmas to symbolize the coming of Christ to give light to a dark world.
Isaiah proclaimed in his prophecy many years ago …
Isaiah 60:1 " Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
In the Gospel of John it says referring to Jesus …
Jn 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. NASU
(Turn all lights out in the auditorium)
We light this candle to represent the coming of the Savior who brought light and life to the world.
Jesus then passed on His life and light to others who in turn passed it on to still others.
Light the Big Candle
Light Elders Candles/Elders light congregations
Everyone hold up their candles