Summary: Christmas Series - making Christmas meaningful

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“3 Things we can do to make this Christmas Meaningful – 1) Follow the true star of Christmas”

Gladstone Baptist Church – 17/12/06 am

S1 - What is Christmas about? Video “A Brief History of Christmas”

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to be looking at 3 things we can do to make this Christmas meaningful. I don’t know about you, but Christmas, as fun as it is, is starting to become a bit empty for me. Maybe things will change this year with kids and all. But over the last couple of years, I’ve been getting disillusioned with all the commercialism of Christmas and all the things that distract us from its real meaning. Christmas is a wonderful celebration, but has lost much of its meaning. So over the next 2 weeks, we are going to look at 3 things we can do to make this Christmas meaningful.

By way of an introduction, I thought we should consider the history of Christmas – so take a look at this short video clip.

Pray. Lord as we come to you now, we pray you would help us to concentrate on you. We are in the midst of a busy time of year and many of us are tired. We have been guilty of running around like headless chooks chasing after tinsel and presents and food and breakups and the list goes on. We pray that here and now you would arrest our minds. Disengage them from the things that would distract us and help us to focus on you this morning and you alone. We pray this in your Son’s name, Amen.

S2 – Focussing on the wrong Star at Christmas.

You know as well as I do, that Christmas is probably one of the most busy times of the year. That is why we call it the silly season. Who here is sick of Christmas breakups? Who is sick of the Christmas Catalogues filling your letter boxes? Who is sick of the Christmas adds on TV?

Christmas is without doubt the busiest time of year. There is so many things happening. So many people vying for our attention. Bright lights, tinsel, glittering things. Toys, food, things in the shops that neither you or I want or need, but which we are told we can’t do without. So many voices out there with Christmas appeals and charity fund raisers. Then there is all the Christmas special events - final episodes of your favourite TV show, Christmas carols to go to. There are the Christmas sales and the presents to buy and wrap and distribute. There are the Christmas cards to write.

Even in the church, there is so much going on – breakups, farewell dinners for those leaving us, things to do before we go on holidays.

So many things and so little time. So many demands that we get swamped. Everything seems to be flashing in our face – look at me, attend to me, come to me. Countless things needing our attention – which to focus on is the dilemma.

Have you ever been out in the country and looked up at the stars in the night sky and been overwhelmed with how there are. Your eyes don’t know which ones to look at. I think that is what it is like at Christmas time – so many lights, you find it hard to focus on just one. And this is a problem, because at Christmas time, we are in danger of losing sight of the true star of Christmas – Jesus.

With all the competing interests, Jesus too often gets pushed to the background. Oh we think about his every now and then, but he doesn’t take centre stage. I want you to think about this for a moment. Rewind your week and play it over in your memory. How many things took up more of your time and more of your concentration and more of your energies than Jesus? I’m sure that if we were truly honest – this being 2 weeks out from Christmas and all, we would have to admit that for many of us – our present shopping or our Christmas lunch menu planning or our long list of Christmas engagements featured far more prominently in our minds this last week than did Jesus. What were some of the things in your past week that distracted you from focusing on Jesus? Write them down – name them. For me, it was …

S3 - The wise men, undoubtedly had many pressing items in their lives, but they never lost sight of their Christmas Star (they travelled far, made personal sacrifices and stepped out in faith and follow)

If you have your bibles open, I would like you to open them up to Matt 2:1-12

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