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Summary: I begin this Advent Season in full and great expectation that God will meet us right where we are. I want to challenge us this Holy Season to not become Complacent but look with Great Anticipation. Let’s remember what this season and what Christmas is all about.

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TITLE: DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE

SCRIPTURE: ST. MATTHEW 2:1-3

Here we are once again ready to begin our Advent Preaching. I look forward to this time of year. I must admit, the older I become the faster time seem to move. I begin this Advent Season in full and great expectation that God will meet us right where we are. I want to challenge us this Holy Season to not become Complacent but look with Great Anticipation. Let’s remember what this season and what Christmas is all about.

I am reminded the words of a five year old who was showing his Christmas presents to his grandmother when she asked –

• "Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?

• The little Five Year Old Grandson thought about it for a moment

• After a brief pause of thought he finally said - "No, but that's okay. It wasn't my birthday"

• That is the True Heart of Christmas

I don't know what you love most about Christmas. For some it's the sounds of the season. They love the music and the laughter. They love to hear choirs a' caroling and children grinning and giggling as they open their presents. Mention the word Christmas to most children and the vision that comes to their minds is a jolly old man in a red suit who delivers toys with a small herd of flying reindeer. Mention Christmas to most of us adults and several pictures are likely to form in our minds:

• Some think of lights and decorations lining city streets

• “City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style / In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas”

• Others think of bell-ringing Salvation Army Santa’s seeking donations

• Some think of Christmas trees decked with beautiful lights and ornaments

• For many people, the favorite thought that comes to their minds is a picture of large stadiums filled with fans watching a bunch of men run around with an inflated pig-skin

• And to some, sadly, Christmas conjures up images of wild parties, drunkenness, and what they think are “good times”

Some people love the sounds of the season. Some love the smells of the season. The peppermint and popcorn. The fresh baked pies and Christmas dinner. But for me, I guess it's always been the sights of the season that I love the most.

• I love to see the lights

• White ones and red ones and green ones and gold ones

• I love to see them on street lights or in people's yards

• I love to see downtown all lite up and adorned

• In front of churches

• In parks

I've always loved the sights and the lights of Christmas. Well, on that first Christmas day, 2000 years ago, there were definitely some spectacular sights that were seen and that's what I want us to look at together this morning. I wonder this morning, Do You See What I See? I wonder what I would have seen and heard had I been there the night of Jesus' birth. It is a question I wonder about this time of year.

• Would I have seen and heard the choirs of angels singing - or simply the sounds of barnyard animals shifting around

• Would I have seen the star in the sky that night - or simply two poor and very frightened kids

• Would I have understood the hushed silence of the divine presence - or simply the chill of a cold east wind

• Would I have understood the message of Emmanuel, God with us - or would the cosmic implication of that evening have passed me by?

• Yes, I wonder this morning, Do You See What I See?

I am sure those found in Bethlehem that glorious night could have seen and heard entirely different scenes. I believe this because even today all in the Church are not all Spiritually Tuned into God.

• God never presents himself in revelation in a manner in which we are asked personally, to believe

• We are always left with an option, for that is God's way

• Thus, one person can say, "It's a coincidence"

• While another sees the Face and feels the Hand of God

• Thus, one person can say, “Don’t know why I came to Church today”

• While another says, “What a Powerful Worship Experience”

• Thus, one person can say, “I Don’t Know what the Preacher was Talking About”

• While another says, “That Sermon Was Just For Me”

• Thus, one person can say, “We Are Not A Supporting Church Family”

• While another says, “What A Loving Church Family We Have”

• It all depends on Spiritually Tuned into God We Are

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