Summary: The Christmas story encourages us with the truth that even though our lives and homes may be ‘messy’, Jesus delights to visit us and bring us hope, joy and peace.
A MESSY CHRISTMAS
SPECIAL SONG: Amy singing “O Holy Night.”
OPENING: Christmas… is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
• Christmas can be a stressful time for people.
• Stress = a force or a pressure that strains or deforms.
• One of the things is money – spend too much money on your credit cards, etc.
• Another thing that can cause stress is family gatherings, or having no family, if you feel like you’re all alone. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one this year, that can put stress.
• Shopping can put pressure on you. There was a study done that said only 1 out of 4 women feel pressure when they’re shopping. All men feel pressure when they go shopping. A British Psychologist named David Lewis did a study and put men in a shopping mall and monitored their blood pressure rate and discovered that shopping is actually hazardous to your health. It’s a warzone! I still have to finish my shopping.
• Liza’s mom Wendy is in the hospital waiting for open heart surgery on Monday.
• Despite the challenges, let’s not give up on the good thing that Christmas can be…
THE GENEOLOGY OF JESUS:
• Do you have anyone in your family that you’re ashamed of?
“1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king.David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah… 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:1-17).
• Look at the four women in this family tree: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.
• Tamar - Gen. 38 – lost two husbands, prostitute, slept with her father-in-law
• Rahab - Josh. 6 – prostitute in Jericho
• Ruth - Ruth 1-4 – foreigner / outsider, lost her husband
• Bathsheba - 2 Sam. 11-12 – victim, King David slept with her and killed her husband
• God loves and cares for people whose family backgrounds are messed up and messy!
LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS:
“Wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.” (Isaiah 8:22, NLT).
• Isn’t this a picture of the world we’re living in today? Darkness, depression, despair?
“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever… The people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.” (Isaiah 9:1-2, NLT).