Summary: A short talk for our 2011 Christingle services. Will you make room for Jesus? If you do, 2012 and the rest of your life will be very different!
Someone suggested to me recently that if money ever became tight I should consider becoming a joke writer for Christmas crackers. So, I turned to him and asked, “What did the grumpy sheep say when the shepherd offered him a black and white sweet?” Baa-hum bug!
I’m guessing that because you are here you’re unlikely to be a flock of baa-hum-bugs; and I know that for some of you Christmas would not be the same without spending Christmas Eve here at one of our Christingle services, and that’s great. We’re really glad you’re here because we love Christmas.
But is there more to Christmas? Is there more to Jesus? Is there more to life? Just what’s it all about?
Let’s watch this short (2 minutes 20 seconds) film:
Though there are presents still waiting for you to receive - this season is truly about the gift that you have already been given.
I hope that tomorrow you will all have great fun giving and receiving gifts; and as you do that, I hope that you will give thanks to God for the gift that you have already been given.
God wrapped himself up as a gift to you and me. Jesus the baby who became Jesus the man; he is God’s gift to you! God gave his only son (John 3:16).
Please don’t leave God’s gift unwrapped. Please don’t leave Jesus on a dusty shelf, forgotten until December, because unlike some of the gifts I’m giving tomorrow, the gift of Jesus is life-changing and life-transforming. He is not a Christmas cracker joke and he is not a fairy story! The birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus are all historical truth.
His story is history, and his-story can be your story.
There was no room for him that night (Luke 2:7) in the world he had made; but is there room for Jesus in your life and in your family tonight and for the rest of your life? God is knocking on the door of your life and he wants to come in (Revelation 3:20).
2012 will be a very different year if you unwrap, give thanks for, and put on the gift that you have already been given; because following Jesus is a bit like wearing a different set of clothes for the rest of your life. It’s like wearing a new aftershave because the aroma of your life will change. It’s like reading the best book you’ve ever read and becoming part of the story. It’s like being given a role in the best film that’s ever hit the big screen; but it’s also like receiving some new gardening equipment, a few packets of seeds, and some fertilizer. Following Jesus means getting your hands dirty in tidying up the world.
On a few occasions Jesus said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen” (Luke 8:8 and 14:35).
Underneath two seats there are some special Shrek ears, so if my random winners could put them on and stand up I’d be really grateful.
Look! The ears light up. “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” said Jesus.
This season is truly about the gift that you have already been given. Will you make room for Jesus in your world tonight and for the rest of your life?
Let’s pray together.