Sermons

Summary: Good News, Great Joy, A Message to "All People"

4 QUESTIONS FOR THE HOLIDAYS – Does the World Know It’s Christmas?

Luke 2:1-20 (p. 715) December 21, 2014

Introduction:

30 years ago I was fresh out of college, a brand new dad, and involved deeply in youth ministry...So, when Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote a song called, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1984 to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia it got my attention. Geldof put together a group called “Band Aid” made up of the most popular British and musicians...like Bono, Sting (the Police), George Michael, Boy George. This song became the biggest selling single in UK chart history...selling a million copies in it’s first week alone. It stayed at Number 1 for 5 weeks and sold worldwide 3.7 million copies.

Geldof decided to give it another shot this year...it was recorded in 2014 by Band Aid 30 to raise funds for the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa...every penny of each purchase goes toward this crisis.

In case you didn’t catch the words...here they are:

SHOW THE LYRICS TO “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” ON SCREEN

It’s Christmastime; there’s no need to be afraid

At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade

And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy

Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime

But say a prayer to pray for the other ones

At Christmastime

It’s hard, but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window

And it’s a world of dread and fear

Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears

And the Christmas bells that ring there

Are the clanging chimes of doom

Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime

The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life

Oh, where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow

Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Here’s to you, raise a glass for ev’ryone

Here’s to them, underneath that burning sun

Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Feed the world

Feed the world

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmastime again

There’s an echoing question in that song...DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMASTIME AT ALL?

[We were sitting in a staff meeting a couple of months ago...planning, praying...preparing together and Tony said, “What day is Christmas on this year?” And I laughed out loud and said December 25th...Tony, Christmas is always on December 25. To be fair I believe Tony was asking...Is Christmas on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc... But in our staff meetings if you ask a question like that someone’s gonna call you on it. LOL]

But the question Band Aid asked 30 years ago...and then revisited this year still rings true...“DOES THE WORLD KNOW IT’S CHRISTMASTIME?”

We know it’s Christmas because we always celebrate it on December 25th (write that down Tony). We kick into gear with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday....right after Thanksgiving....Christmas trees are purchased, lights, yard figures, and decoration start to go up, stations play Christmas music. It’s the season. Did you know it’s an absolute myth that more suicide happens during the Holidays than any other time? In fact December is the lowest month...April is the highest. Why? There are probably a million answers, but maybe Christmas is a time of hope...and the new life of spring accentuates depression. At least that’s what really smart people have presented as a theory.

It’s the hope of Christmas this world needs, even more than the cure for Ebola, and food for the starving. And I hope that these messages help us as believers not miss the opportunity to share it! It’s easy to miss what’s really important!

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an airplane at Kitty Hawk NC. On their 5th attempt, the plane under the control of Orville, embarked on a 12 second flight. Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message – WE HAVE FLOWN FOR 12 SECONDS – WE WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! Upon receiving the telegram their sister, Katherine, went to the newspaper office, told the editor of her brother’s new flying machine, and informed him, they would be home for Christmas, if he would like to set up an interview. He told her that was nice, and he would be sure to put something in the paper regarding the boys. On December 19th, the local paper placed the following headline on the 6th page of the paper: “WRIGHT BROTHERS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS.” The most important story of the year – man’s first flight – and the editor missed it!

Sometimes we’re just like this editor, or the people of the world who are too distracted and busy to know it’s Christmas.

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