Summary: First in a series of sermons called "A Classic Christmas." Using a short clip from some Christmas Classics, these messages seek to help the hearer focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS:
A GREATER MIRACLE THAN THE ONE ON 34TH STREET
A. Over the past few years I have had a growing appreciation for some of the old classic movies
1. I suppose that it all began with April and Alan getting involved in the plays at school
a. The first play that April was in was "Guys and Dolls"
b. After we watched the play I decided to get the movie from the library starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra
2. Last year April and Alan (along with several others from our congregation) were involved with "It’s a Wonderful Life" which is probably my favorite holiday movie
B. I thought that it might be interesting if we were to look at some of these old Christmas classics as we lead up to Christmas
1. Last week I borrowed that old holiday classic from the library which starred Natalie Wood, way back in the year of 1947
a. The movie was "Miracle on 34th Street"
b. Now I know that you’re not suppose to talk about Santa Claus in church, but I can assure you that he has made quite a dent in my checkbook for several years now.
ILL> Someone said that there are 4 stages in the life of a man;
you believe in Santa Claus
you don’t believe in Santa Claus
you are Santa Claus
you look like Santa Claus
2. In this movie a little girl by the name of Susan has been taught by her mother to only believe in things that are concrete and reasonable
a. When a fellow by the name of Kris Kringle is put on trial for claiming to be Santa Claus, Susan’s mother’s new boyfriend, Fred, is called upon to defend Kris in court.
b. Not knowing any other way to defend Kris, Fred announces to the world that he is going to prove that this man really is Santa Claus, much to the chagrin of Susan’s mother who only believes in things that are safe and reasonable.
c. Show movie clip - TRACK 16
C. It may be unintentional, but this clip points out an important truth about the Christmas story
D. I wanted to start this series with a clip from "Miracle on 34th Street" because the foundation of the Christmas message is all about miracles
1. Matthew, one of the apostles, writes about a few of these miracles in the first chapter of his gospel
a. READ: Matthew 1:18-25
I>THE MIRACLE OF INCARNATION (Vs 18)
A. As you read through the Bible there are some things that go beyond reason–that goes beyond what are normal, everyday happenings
1. For example, Jonah spending 3 days and nights in the belly of a fish before being spued on a Ninevite beach
2. What about the Red Sea parting and allowing the Israelites to walk across on dry ground
a. Can you imagine the wind speed that would be required to blow a path across a body of water?
b. That’s something the we probably will never see?
3. Then’s there’s Baalim’s donkey that turns his head and has a conversation with his master
4. Well, somewhere in that list you would have to put the resurrection
a. Accept in movies, people don’t rise from the dead everyday
b. After Jesus was crucified, He was put in a tomb, but the tomb was not able to hold Him
c. Three days later Jesus rose from the grave, proclaiming His victory over sin, hell, and death!
5. Hollywood doesn’t have anything on the Creator of the Universe–He really is the Master of special effects
QUOTE> Fred, "Miracle on 34th Street"
"Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to."
B. The passage that we just read a few minutes ago contains another challenge to what is considered reasonable
1. VS 18 - Mary was pregnant without ever having been with a man
a. While some may have tried that defense over the years, this is the only time that I know of throughout history where it is actually considered as fact
b. Somehow God sent His Holy Spirit upon Mary and she became pregnant
c. The act of God becoming a person in human form is referred to as the incarnation
ILL> A little girl went to her mother one day and asked, "Mommy, where did I come from?"
The mother knew that this day was going to come and had dreaded having this discussion, but she was prepared. She pulled out a book that she had bought for this discussion and began sharing with her daughter about the birds and the bees and how children were brought into the world.
After the mother was done with her talk the little girl said, "That’s nice mommy. But Jimmy says he’s from Oklahoma and I was just wondering where I had come from."