Summary: Christmas 2001

12/16/01 - Becoming Young Again

Text: Luke 2 & Matthew 18:1-5: What is it about children that endeared themselves to Jesus? Certainly they are cute. Certainly they are innocent in their understanding of life. What impressed Jesus always was faith… Maybe that’s why Jesus came as a babe in a manger – born innocent and full of faith he remained that way all of his life. The faith of a child is what you must gain to become young again. The surest sign of growing old gracefully is one who refuses to become jaded and cynical about life and people. Jesus never did and neither should we.

What did Jesus see in Children?

Children are cute

I heard a story recently about a boy going hom with his family after the christening of his baby brother in church. Little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I want to stay with you guys!"

The best story of all was told by Terri who asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Kyle’s picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent. "The flight to Egypt," said Kyle.

"I see ... And that must be Mary, Joseph, And Baby

Jesus," Ms. Terri said. "But who’s the fourth person?"

"Oh, that’s Pontius - the Pilot.

Another little girl was sitting on her grandfather’s lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again. Finally she spoke "Grandpa, did God make you?" "Yes, sweetheart," he answered, "God made me a long time ago."

"Oh," she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?" "Yes, indeed, honey," he said, "God made you just a little while ago."

Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, "God’s getting better at it, isn’t he?"

Matthew 18:1-5

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

2 He called a little child and had him stand among them.

3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

It wasn’t the cuteness

It is their faith

It is their hope

It is their joy

You must become like Children

It begins with faith

Strengthen your faith by concentrating on the object of your faith

Keep your eyes on Jesus

Faith builds hope

Renew your hope

Look forward not backwards

Look up not down

Look in not out

Keep your eyes on Jesus

Hope results in Joy

Express your joy

We have some electronic Bells on the Christmas tree this year and I can’t wait to show the grandchildren. Why? Because I know that I will see their joy expressed without reservation.

Joy is built not on things but on God

Keep your Eyes on Jesus

Why is cynicism and disillusionment so rampant at Christmas time?

Think about Scrooge, the Grinch, and the other Reindeer that wouldn’t let poor Rudolph play.

How did they become this way?

Did they go to Cynics-R-Us and get an extra heavy dose of reality?

What happened??

They grew up and became cynics

They lost their faith

Without faith there is no hope

Without hope there is no joy…

Christmas time is a time to become a child again

Living for Jesus means staying that way

Never Grow up – become like Children

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