Summary: We may not have a perfect Christmas, but we can have a right Christmas when we focus on Jesus, this is #1 in a four part series - "I’m dreaming of a right christmas"
Introduction: The Christmas pageant at FIRST CHURCH was always a highlight of the holidays for the members of the church. The director took great pains to make sure everything was perfect for the performance.
Lines were memorized, costumes were created and everything was just right for the annual event.
As time went by the director became more focused on the performance of the pageant rather than the message of the season. She began to make demands on the children, which seemed a bit unfair. Only the children with the best behavior and best attendance were able to participate.
This upset many of the parents and they took their concerns to the pastor. Words were exchanged and soon the long time director quit.
With only 2 weeks until Christmas, the parents threw together a new pageant. All the children of the church were invited to a part of the program, regardless of behavior or attendance.
The parents thought the KJV of the Christmas story was too hard for the children to memorize, so they opted for the Good News Version, a modern translation.
On the night of the pageant, all was going well until the Narrator came to the part about Joseph finding out Mary was pregnant. Years before the narrator had used the words “with child”, but a young man hearing the word pregnant began to giggle uncontrollably. From there it only got worse; several of the children forgot their lines. Others forgot to go on the stage at the right time.
The former director had a look on her face that said, “I told you so”
Then something interesting started to happen. The unruly boys dressed as shepherds came to the former director, in a great act of respect and appreciation presented here with a gift, and asked her to have the closing prayer.
As she walked to the front of the church, people noticed it began to snow outside. Millie Jones who was hard of hearing leaned over to her husband and in a whisper that could be heard a block away said. “PERFECT, JUST PERFECT”
We all want a perfect Christmas, A Christmas suitable for a Norman [INSERT NORMAN ROCKWELL PRINT IN PPT] Rockwell Print, A Christmas that warms the heart and refreshes the soul.
Many people this year will not have perfect Christmas…
• The Iraqi Ward has robbed children, moms and dads from a perfect Christmas
• Some will not have a perfect Christmas because of economic reasons, debts are mounting up and they wonder is there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
• Others are experiencing a strained relationship with family members and this causing the upcoming holidays to be less than perfect.
• For others this is the first Christmas without a loved one who has passed on and the holidays just don’t seem the same.
Knowing we will not always have a perfect Christmas – we should strive to have a RIGHT Christmas.
For there to be a right Christmas there must be a right focus. Someone has coined the phrase, “Let’s put Christ back into Christmas”. The truth of the matter it has been awhile since Christ has been the focus of Christmas.
I read in 1594, Christmas was canceled in the New England Community of Salem because of “too much frivolity and worldliness”, and was not reestablished for 23 years.
Not much as changed in the last 400 years it seems we still have a wrong focus when it comes to the Christmas season.
However, it may be simple and we have heard it for years – “Jesus is the reason for the season” But is that true?
Let us look at our text this morning and discover the true focus of Christmas.
Play Visual Bible Matthew 1:18-25
From this passage, Matthew tells us the true focus of Christmas
1. Christmas is about Salvation
A. To understand Christmas one must look not in the gospels but in the book of Genesis
In the Garden of Eden, we find perfect harmony, Man and woman enjoying fellowship with their creator. Yet in Genesis 3, harmony becomes chaos. Sin introduced by the Serpent brings about changes in the relationships of God and his creation. One word defines the change – SEPARATION. Moreover, the separation brought about several consequences
B. First Adam & Eve experienced the aging process that would eventually lead to their death.
In their perfect state, they knew no pain, but because of sin their bodies began to deteriorate. There would be aging, suffering, soft skin would give way to wrinkles, eyes would dim and eventually death would come.
C. Second result of sin, all of creation would change
In the first two chapters of Genesis one phrase is used repeatedly – it is good. God’s creation was good; God was designing a perfect creation for his servant Adam, no shortcuts, no leftovers. Yet because of sin all of creation is altered. Thorns and weeds now grow next to flowers and fruits.