Summary: My final sermon for 2008, a look at the flight of Christ’s family to Egypt and how we should approach life after Christmas.
After Christmas…Now What
Well, Christmas day has come and it has gone…and I do hope you guys had a wonderful day filled with awe of God’s grace and mercy and the love of family and friends.
We had Brigitte’s parents down from Cincinnati, and they are here with us today…and of course that made the day a little more special for us.
I love Christmas, and I think part of the love of the holiday is the expectation.
At our house we have a little 24 day calendar that counts down from the beginning of the month to Christmas morning.
You noticed we don’t have those for any other holidays?
You never hear “Only 10 more shopping days until Halloween”.
And there is not a “Black Friday” leading up to Mother’s Day.
But Christmas…it is an event that you prepare for and count down to.
Think about it, New Years Day is just days away…and when do we start the countdown?
For some people that day, for many a couple of hours before, but for most of us it is the last 30 seconds.
There really is something special about Christmas and the expectation leading up to it.
But the bad thing about that expectation, it ends.
You get up, watch the kids with gifts, make phone calls, eat that special meal, grab that important nap, watch the Lakers beat the Celtics, and then go to bed.
The next day you wake up and it’s, well…it’s the next day.
This year it was a Friday.
Next year it will be a Saturday.
Basically it’s just a day and it is easy to ask, “OK, what now?”
And here we are today, and our question is “After Christmas…what now?
Let’s look at Scripture to see what it has to say to us about this.
Read Matthew 2:13-15 and pray
The birth of Christ was drama filled from top to bottom.
It began with a virgin being told that she is pregnant and having to break that news to her family and her fiancée.
It was followed by the revelation to Joseph that this was of God and his acceptance of this situation…and their trip to Bethlehem.
Keep in mind this trip was initiated by a king who was constantly checking his back for daggers, and the purpose was to find out who each and every child was so that he can protect his throne.
While there they had to resort to a barn and a manger for the birth of Jesus, only to return home and have what to most would seem like a strange visit…magi from the east.
But lets be honest, after being visited by angels…how weird could that have been?
Their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh set off a series of events that would put this young family on the run.
Herod was now letting his fear of losing power take over, and he was killing off every child under the age of 2…which he knew of because of the census.
And in verse 13 we are told that an angel of the Lord once again appeared and told Joseph, “Get up…(read verse).”
Such a huge build up to the birth of Christ and just when they thought things were settling down and they ask “What now?”…they get the answer.
For us, we have such a build up to Christmas day…but just 24 hours later is a whole new day that can make you ask, “What now?”
By looking to the family of Christ and their flight to Egypt we can find a possible answer to that question.
First of all, you need to…
1. Listen for God
Read vs. 13 again.
You’ve got to believe that by this point, if Joseph and Mary were not in the habit of listening for the voice of God to speak to them…something had to be wrong.
But it would appear that listening for God in their lives had become second nature.
Also notice, I could have said “listen to God”…and I do believe we need to listen to God; but you can’t listen to God unless you realize that He is speaking to you.
So first you need to listen for God.
That is the first problem…the actual hearing.
You can’t listen if you aren’t willing to hear.
And it is way too easy to not hear when you zone out.
Have you ever zoned out?
You know what I’m talking about…maybe during that big game or your favorite TV show, you are so enthralled in it you don’t hear anything going on around you.
Or maybe you are so distracted by all the noise around you, you miss out on what is being said right next to you.
The fact is we need to train ourselves to listen for God because it is so easy to be distracted.