Summary: This sermon takes an unusual twist and is an interesting take on "Christmas Service, as it looks at the attitudes of those associated with Jesus's birth.
As you look at the screen, you may be thinking that today is our Christmas service, and you may be thinking of Christmas songs and a message, hopefully short, about the Christmas story, that is, the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now, I really don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but this isn’t a Christmas service in the traditional sense, although we’ll be looking at this wonderful and marvelous event. Rather, the message is entitled, “Christmas Service,” because it is, what I believe, to be an interesting take on the story as we look at the attitudes of those associated with Jesus’s birth.
Although we’ll be looking at those parts of the Scriptures that speak to Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, and the shepherds, there is an area within the Bible that actually speaks volumes to what I would like to speak with you about today. It is found in Jesus’s “Sermon on the Mount.”
Read Matthew 6:25-34
Jesus said not to be worried about our lives, our bodies, or even what tomorrow may bring. Instead we’re to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. In other words, we need to serve God and quit worrying about what may happen as a result thereof, because God will meet those very needs, which has either stopped us from serving God, or has caused us to not even try.
So, what I believe Jesus is saying is that we need to come into our service of God with our minds already made up to put Him first and to serve Him despite the consequences and regardless of the cost.
Jesus also talks about this when He compares building a tower to discipleship.
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” (Luke 14:27-28 NKJV)
Now, far too many Christians use this verse as an excuse to get out of serving and even giving to the Lord. They say they’ve counted the cost and it’s too much for them to handle at this time. What we fail to understand is that at this time a tower was a necessity in the life and commerce of the people. In other words, it wasn’t just another room addition to a house. So, what Jesus is saying is that we need to count the cost, and know exactly what we’ll need to be His disciples so that when the time comes, we will not come up short in our service of Him.
What we need to do is to get salvation and servant-hood settled in our minds and hearts once and for all. We need to believe in Jesus Christ and that we are on His side. Further we are to believe that He is trustworthy so we can serve Him without hesitation or fear, despite the consequences and without regard of the cost associated with such service.
If you would, consider it like a marriage proposal, especially seeing that we as the church are called the Bride of Christ. Now, she has said yes to the proposal, but afterwards we have to continue to re-convince her on a daily basis of our love, that is, we have to continue to re-propose to her.
And then after the marriage she want us to move in with her parents, which more often than not is a parent’s worst nightmare! Also consider what it would be like if other issues were not settled, like being true and faithful to us alone, or whether or not she wanted to live with us, or take on our last name.
Hopefully, you can see where I’m going with this? This is what we do in our marriage to the Lord. It’s as if we demand God to show His love for us every day, and if He doesn’t do it our way or according to our standards or specification, then He must not love us, and we continually reconsider our relationship with Him.
Or maybe we don’t like what or how He has provided for us, so we go back to our old lives and old ways to get what we want, and then invite God to come along with us. Too many of us live these lives of faith in God open-endedly, that is, we don’t live our lives for God faithfully, nor do we carry His name proudly.
Consider, just how the Lord must feel when we become engaged and married to Him, taking upon ourselves the mantle of His name, “Christian,” but then argue about everything He says to do.
We say, “Yes Lord, I’ll follow where you lead, I am Yours, but I have a problem with this whole tithing issue. Why do I have to give 10% and then upwards in my offerings? Can’t I just give a couple of bucks? Besides You’re rich, You don’t need it, and my needs are greater?”