Summary: This is a Christmas Eve service. I introduced each major point by taking an ornament from our tree.
Christmas is Jesus
Christmas Eve service
December 24, 2016
River Bend Baptist Church
Merry Christmas! - Peace on Earth - Good will to Man
The story of Jesus’ birth starts long before Joseph and Mary were visited by the angel.
Prophets, hundreds of years before Jesus was born told about the future Messiah.
Isaiah 7:14 – Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call His name
Emmanuel. – God with us
Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government
will rest on His shoulders and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
God has a plan for His world and that plan included the birth of His Son, Jesus, in a small Judean village called Bethlehem.
Joseph and Mary
For God to bring about His plan He needed to use some people - His plan always involves people – back then and even today.
God uses Joseph and Mary in extraordinary ways.
Luke 1:28 – the angel spoke to Mary; “You have found favor with God and you will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.
Mary says yes, what she really says is – “I am the Lords servant”
What great faith that God would use her.
That God would do something through her which would change the world.
The Bible tells us He is a righteous man - a man of faith - a man who trusts in God.
He is also a hard working guy- a carpenter by trade and he is looking forward to starting the next part of his life with Mary as his wife.
That’s when he finds out Mary is pregnant and this creates a crises deep within him. And while he is trying to make the right decision an angel visits him - listen to what the angel said.
Matt. 1:20 – “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your
wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
Joseph follows the words of the angel and takes Mary to be his wife.
This first Christmas comes because Joseph and Mary want God to use them.
APPL: As you celebrate Christmas let God use you.
-to serve your neighbor
-to love that family member who can be difficult to love
-to bring Joy and Peace to those around you
Joseph and Mary are the earthly parents of the Son of God. I wonder if they thought everything would go smoothly - reality comes quickly.
Caesar Augustus decreed a tax throughout the Roman world and that included the nation of Israel, so a very anxious Joseph with a very pregnant Mary make their way to Bethlehem; Joseph’s ancestral home – He was related to King David.
I can only imagine it was a “long trip” and to make matters worse when they arrived in Bethlehem there was no place for them to stay so they ended up staying in a stable.
-I don’t think this was Mary’s first choice
-But the labor pains start and before the night is over Jesus is born.
I’m always amazed how God works out His plan
-I’m sure the stable was not Joseph or Mary’s plan but it was God’s.
Shepherds and angels
Another part of God’s plan includes Shepherds and Angels.
Right outside Bethlehem were some Shepherds taking care of their flocks.
All of a sudden an Angel appears…
Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.
Did you notice how the angel describes this baby “He is Christ the Lord”; “Savior”
-“Christ” means Messiah – the Anointed one of God
-Lord signifies a person who has authority over us
Jesus is the “Anointed One”, He is the promised Messiah and He is our Savior and Lord.
The Angel goes on and tells the shepherds…
- “You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
Then the sky became full of light and a host of angels….
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of whom His favor
When God does something incredeible it seems like all of heaven breaks out in praise.
APPL: As you celebrate Christmas break out in praise.
When the shepherds heard this incredible news they go to Bethlehem. They find Jesus just as the angels described, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger – they are so moved by what they saw and what this meant that on their way back to the fields they told everyone they met what had happened and those people were as amazed as the shepherds were.