Summary: What are your Christmas concerns?
INTRO.- ILL.- For several years a woman had been having trouble getting to sleep at night because she worried that burglars might break into her home. One night her husband heard a noise in the house, so he went downstairs to investigate. When he got there, he did find a burglar. "Good evening," said the man of the house. "I am pleased to see you. Come upstairs and meet my wife. She has been waiting 10 years to meet you."
Jesus said, “Don’t worry about your life.” BUT WE DO. We do worry about lots of things. Or as some people might say, “I’m not worried about certain things, but I am concerned.”
Worry or concern. Whatever word you choose, the thought is the same. We are worried about many things in life. We are concerned about many things. What about this time of the year? What are your Christmas concerns?
ILL.- A television interviewer was walking the streets of Tokyo at Christmas time. Much as in America, Christmas shopping is a big commercial success in Japan. The interviewer stopped one young woman on the sidewalk, and asked, "What is the meaning of Christmas?" Laughing, she responded, "I don’t know. Is that the day that Jesus died?"
There was some truth in her answer. The truth is that Christ is dead at Christmas for some people. Many people have only material concerns at Christmas. BUT NOT EVERYONE!
ILL.- A survey taken in England revealed some interesting concerns. Despite spending hours of time and hundreds of pounds (or dollars) on Christmas presents, most Britons would gladly give up their seasonal gifts in favor of more time with friends and family.
According to research published by advertising agency J. Walter Thompson on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002, 74 percent of Britons say spending time with their loved ones is the most important thing about Christmas.
What are your Christmas concerns? Shopping? People? Parties? Money? Bills? Gifts? Friends? Family?
PROP.- I want us to think about certain Christmas concerns, which, I believe, affect us all. They are:
1- Health and wealth
2- War and peace
I. HEALTH AND WEALTH
ILL.- In 1988 I bought a new Buick Skylark. It wasn’t a big car, but it was nice car. Maroon in color, sporty, two-door, loaded with options, and a Quad-four engine. I really liked that car and thought it would be my ultimate car. But one day while traveling to St. Louis to the hospital it blew a head gasket. I had to have that car towed into the nearest Buick garage and it took them two weeks to get the parts and repair my car. MY ULTIMATE CAR SUDDENLY BECAME MY ULCER CAR.
That car which I thought was so good, so neat, so perfect was not so perfect. Likewise, these wonderful bodies that we were born with and enjoyed so much in our youth soon become not so great.
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...”
The human body is an incredible creation of God. It can do far more than we think it can, but it can only go so long and then eventually grow old.
Eccl. 12:1-5 CEV “Keep your Creator in mind while you’re young! In years to come, you will be burdened down with troubles and say, ‘I don’t enjoy life anymore.’ Someday the light of the sun and the moon and the stars will all seem dim to you. Rain clouds will remain over your head. Your body will grow feeble, your teeth will decay, and your eyesight fails. The noisy grinding of grain will be shut out by your deaf ears, but even the song of a bird will keep you awake. You will be afraid to climb up a hill or walk down a road. Your hair will turn as white as almond blossoms. You will feel lifeless and drag along like an old grasshopper...”
Hey! I didn’t know I was in the Bible! We can joke about it and might as well laugh about it, because it will happen to us all!
ILL.- In 1846 former president John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke. Daniel Webster described his last meeting with Adams: "A friend of his came in and made particular inquiry of his health. Adams answered, ’I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in upon by the storms, and from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair it.’"
The sad truth is our health will eventually fail us. We’re all declining in some ways. We all experience aging, aches and pains at some point in our lives. And this is a great concern to most of us as we age. Most of us don’t mind getting older, but we would prefer to be able to keep our health.