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?"
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?
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