Summary: God lit up the night with angels to celebrate Christ’s birthday. We can light up the world when we do the same... but are we wired to do that? (Uses a famous sycronized home light display as the opening and closing of the sermon).
Open with youtube video of Christmas lights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F44d2IzCrKo
(beautiful synchronized Christmas light display featuring “Carol of the bells”)
APPLY: The light show you just saw was put together by the Holdmans of Pleasant Grove, Utah. For the past few years 1000s of people have driven by their home to observe the 15 to 20 minute display.
Wouldn’t you like to have a display like that in your front yard?
But there are a few things that make that difficult for me.
Number one, I don’t have the money.
Two, I don’t have the time.
But (pause) the most important reason I couldn’t do that in my front yard is that my house isn’t wired for it.
The Holdman family has an on-line tutorial where they describe some of the wiring they’ve used.
· They have 22 dedicated outlets. Those outlets are solely used for this light display… and each outlet was on a 20 amp breaker.
· But even as well wired as their home is, they still have a problem. The entire display requires 470 amps of power… but the maximum amount of electricity they can generate is about 300 amps. Thus, if everything in their display were on at the same time - it would draw 470 amps. So they have to be careful what they turn on at any given time because if they didn’t, they’d end up blowing fuses and tripping breakers.
What the Holdmans have accomplished is a beautiful and wondrous thing.
They literally light up the night.
(pause) But my house isn’t wired for that.
About 2000 years ago a beautiful and wondrous thing took place. Jesus, the Son of God, was born. And when that happened God lit up the night with 1000s upon 1000s of angels who announced to the Shepherds that the Christ had been born.
APPLY: Now, in our text this morning, we read that one of the reasons God lit up the night that evening was because this Jesus would “be great and (would) be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God (would) give him the throne of his father David, and he (would) reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom (would) never end." Luke 1:32-33
Jesus came to establish a Kingdom.
And every Kingdom has citizens that belong to it.
But WHAT is this Kingdom that Jesus came to establish, and WHO would be the subjects in this Kingdom over which He would rule and reign?
Well, Colossians tells us that Kingdom He was born to lead - was the Church.
Colossians 1:18 says that Jesus “… is the head of the body, the church…”.
THIS was the Kingdom He came to rule and reign over.
And the subjects of that Kingdom?
That would be us.
Colossians 1:13-14 says
“… (God) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the KINGDOM of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
This Kingdom was so important to God that He lit up the night when Jesus was born.
And Luke 15:10 tells me that the heavens continue to light up again and again every time a person decides to join His Kingdom.
In Luke 15:10 Jesus said, “…there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Whenever a sinner repents, the angels rejoice… and the heavens explode with light.
(pause) God lights up the heavens when it comes to His Kingdom.
The question I want to ask this morning is this: are we wired for that?
What I mean is this: this Kingdom – this Church - is so important to God that if I’m going to be prepared for Christmas, I need to get serious about my wiring. If I really want to show Him I love Him I’ve got to put in more than just a half hearted effort into wiring my life for it
Jesus said: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’ Luke 9:23 NKJV
And again, He said:
" whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27 NKJV
ILLUS: Now, when I decorate my house for Christmas, I don’t put a lot of effort into it. I don’t need to be wired for it, because I don’t put up a great many lights. In fact, if I put up a couple strands of lights outside of the house… I’m a happy camper.
But then, I’m not real serious about decorating for Christmas.
I enjoy it… but it’s not THAT important to me, so I don’t generally put a lot of effort into it.
It’s only if something is important to me that I care how much effort I put into it.