Summary: Re-telling the story of the incarnation of the Messiah - this is more of a two-person reading with music than it is an actual sermon. The thought is that the telling of the simple story is necessary and wonderful with much embellishment.
Christmas Eve 2014 - If you would like a copy of the PPT just email ArcadeNazarene@gmail.com
Guitar and Flute to open the service quitely
Away in a Manger (Alternate Melody)
Welcome and opening prayer
Explanation of the evening (Journey to Jesus’ Birth)
The Longing of the prophets (explain)
“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains would tremble before You!
As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil,
come down to make Your name known to Your enemies
and cause the nations to quake before You!
For when You did awesome things that we did not expect,
You came down, and the mountains trembled before You.
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides You,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down.”
O Come, O Come, Immanuel (Em)
(Use alternate lyrics - instead of:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel shall come to thee of Israel
We wait - for Thee - Immanuel. Come save Your people, Israel)
Some of the OT kings who were full of themselves and prideful would conscript men to run ahead of their chariots and announce that someone real important was coming. This was meant to impress.
When God was about to send the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Messiah, He didn’t need to impress anyone. So, He only sent one …
Isaiah 40:3-5 says,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted
and every mountain and hill brought low;
“The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
And, the Father faithfully sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Lord, but, even yet, the Messiah was not here, at least, that’s what they all thought and they continued to long for Him.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (F)
There was a problem, though. This messiah was to be born of a virgin.
Isaiah 7:14 says,
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Doubters say that the word used for virgin in this verse was also commonly used to describe a young maiden. If you substitute “young lady” for “virgin” it kind of takes the miracle of the sign away doesn’t it?
Most babies are born to young ladies. To say that a “young lady shall conceive” would be like saying that the baby would be born with two eyes or it would grow up one day. No miracle, no sign at all, just a common place event!
And then, could such a baby really be called “Immanuel - God with us”?
We do believe that Jesus, the Messiah was indeed born of the virgin Mary and was indeed God with us!
This is a foundational belief from the earliest times of Christianity.
That is why we sing every Christmas
“Round yon virgin, mother and child, Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace … sleep in heavenly peace.”
But … on the very night that Immanuel, God with us, was to be born to the
virgin Mary, the Lord God did indeed make huge announcement!
Did God the Father make the announcement to Caesar the ruler of the mighty Roman Empire? NO!
Did God the Father make the announcement of the birth of His One and Only Son to Herod and the religious leaders in Jerusalem? NO!
To whom DID He make the announcement?
Shepherds! To lowly, despised shepherds …
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”