Summary: Christmases come and go, but how do we come to the Christ of Christmas...and how do we leave after encountering Him?
Christmas…Came & Went
The other night we were at home and Kari & I were busy around the house getting things picked up and ready for the next day…the girls were in the living room and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was on. I had just walked into the office to finish up a couple of things when Caitlyn yelled out to me, “Dad, you’ve got to come here, this is the greatest story ever.” (I thought she was enjoying the show and the scrawny little Christmas tree Charlie had). But as I walked back into the living room, I heard and saw Linus quoting from Luke 2.
[Read: Luke 2:1-14]
Caitlyn, was right. This is the greatest story ever. The true story of God’s love for us and what He did to bridge the gap between us and Him.
This morning, I’d like for us to look at some of the characters surrounding the Christmas story and be reminded, encouraged, and challenged by their encounters with Christ. Christmases come and go, but what matters most is how we come to the Christ of Christmas and how we leave after encountering Him.
II. Body – How They Came…
A. The Shepherds
1. Let’s pick up where we left off in verse 15 of Luke 2.
[Read: Luke 2:15-16]
2. There are many things about the shepherds that we love to recall at Christmas time and reflect upon.
a. The fact that God’s announcement of a Savior came first to normal everyday people.
b. That interestingly enough, these shepherds, who were probably hired to watch over the lambs that would be used during the Passover Feast, were the first ones to meet the Lamb of God.
3. I love what verse 16 says. It says, “…they came with haste…”
a. They didn’t stop and worry about other things…
• the sheep
• what are people going to think?
• “Wow, I really need to stop off and grab a shower”
They came just as they were. And they came in a hurry.
b. Illustration – The way Camryn runs at me when she comes home – Why don’t we run to Christ the same way? Excited and unfettered! Filled with joy and wonder.
4. The shepherds came just as they were, believing the message they had heard, and responding to the invitation to meet Him.
B. The Wise Men
1. [Read: Matthew 2:1-11]
a. Brother Clark walked us through these Scriptures last week as he helped us uncover what made the wise men so wise. *Wise – asked for directions-didn’t try wrapping gifts
2. I want to remind you of a couple of ways in which the wise men came to Christ. Verse 2 really captures how they came.
“For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
a. They came with an attitude of worship.
b. They came diligently seeking Him. (Up to 2 years journey)
1) Contrast the chief priests and scribes (vv. 3-6)
Christmas…Came & Went
2) It’s interesting to me to note that the ones who had been given more prophecy than anyone else about the coming Messiah – didn’t have a clue! They hadn’t been looking at all.
• They were living right in the middle of all that God was doing and they missed it.
c. Do you know who I’ve found searches the least for Christ? His own people.
1) The greatest single thing you can give your life to is the pursuit of God: knowing and experiencing Him through the person of Jesus Christ!
2) Hebrews 11:6 tell us that “God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him!”
a) The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that God will reveal Himself to those who casually look.
d. Where are life’s journeys taking you? Are you seeking Christ? Does He have your attention? Do you give your time in search of Him and His truths?
1) Wise men, wise women will give their lives to seeking Him – and here’s the beauty of it – if you will be diligent in your seeking – God will lead you right where you need to go.
3. The wise men came diligently seeking and with an attitude of worship.
1. [Read: Luke 2:25-26]
2. Simeon is sometimes overlooked in the story surrounding Jesus’ birth. But this “just and devout” man encountered Christ with great anticipation.
a. I love the original Greek word here, the phrase “waiting for” is the Greek word prosdechomai (pros-dekh-om-ahee) – and it means “to wait with confident patience.”
3. I wonder how often we come to Christ with such great confidence?
a. I think we often come to Him with the thought that nothing is going to change.
We may come to Christ with our hopes, but do we come confident that He’ll bring those things to reality?