Summary: How do we celebrate Christmas when we have wanted something so badly but then we don’t get it? We need to understand what celebrating Christmas is all about. Sometimes not getting what we want helps us to understand sacrifice and then we can truly under

Celebrating Christmas when we don’t get what we want

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Christmas shopping is in full swing. People are making lists, checking them twice.

In our house we do a grab bag among ourselves. We draw a name out of a hat and buy that person something. We have a running text message that we update with something we might like. We don’t always get what we want, but it is the thought that counts anyway.

Have you ever wanted something, maybe it was for Christmas, or maybe for something else, but you thought that this thing was going to be great, but then it turned out to not be all that great?

Maybe you felt a little like Ralphie in this clip from A Christmas Story

Video of Christmas story – Be Sure to Drink your Ovaltine!

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Sometimes what you want is really not what you want, you just didn’t know it.

But in the moment, it can be really disappointing.

How do you celebrate Christmas when you are facing that kind of disappointment?

How do you celebrate Christmas when you don’t get what you want?

This morning we are going to continue to look at the Christmas story as told through Matthew, and see that sometimes the things we want are not really what we want at all.

Turn with me to Matthew 2:1-12


We are going to read the story of the wise men and consider the contrast between what King Herod wanted and what the Magi wanted and see how this should affect our lives and what we really want.

Matthew 2:1-12

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:

6 "’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’"

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Ok, here we have 2 completely different perspectives and desires from people who were in powerful positions. We have King Herod and the Magi. I think it is important that we understand who these people are to get a better grasp of why they do what they do.


Who is King Herod?


He was a convert to Judaism

Although he did not live a lifestyle that would endear him to the Jewish people.

He was from a political family and early in his life, he was given some leadership over the Galilee area of Israel, and later, after some political maneuvering and supporting the right people who rose to power,

He was

Elected by the Roman Senate to be “King of the Jews”


That was a title that he cherished and was won through hard fought political battles and defeating enemies and opponents, but even with this title, the Jewish people were not fans of His because he was a brutal ruler, especially toward the end of his reign.

His concern was for himself.

So, imagine this scenario. You are Herod, King of the Jews. You have desired this and you have killed and fought to obtain this role and this rule.

Now, you have some other prominent men from other countries come and ask you about where the one “who was born King of the Jews is because they have come to worship Him.”

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