Summary: First message in series geared toward helping Christians get past the decorations to making Christmas meaningful.
Getting Past the Glitter
# 1 - Thinking Differently about Christmas
November 28, 2004
Ah, it’s Christmas season. The air’s getting colder, and the snow’s about to fly, and our thoughts turn to the meaning of Christmas - lots of loot.
Not really, at least I hope not among us. Our thoughts should turn to Jesus and His humble birth in Bethlehem.
I read about a church sign that says,
"Merry Christmas to our Christian friends. Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. And to our atheist friends, good luck."
SOURCE: Jeff Strite, Church of Christ at Logansport, Logansport, IN. Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO.
You know something, I like Christmas, and I’m looking forward to the whole time between now and then, and anticipating what God has in store for my family and me in the next few weeks.
I think He has some spiritual blessings in store for us, and you, and I think He has some material blessings in store for us, and you, in the form of gifts and such.
And you know what else I like? The decorations. Now, I don’t like putting them up, I’ll be honest. But I like watching them go up, and I like looking at them.
When I’m driving down the streets, I like the festiveness that the decorations bring out. And I get this nice, warm feeling inside, despite the cold weather we get this time of year.
But would you agree that Christmas is so much more than the decorations, so much more than the glitter, as wonderful as that is?
Isn’t Christmas supposed to be about Christ? Yes, but here’s the catch. We say that, especially as we approach the holiday, but how many of us actually make this the centerpoint of how we think about the holiday?
How many of us make this the centerpoint of how we speak about Christmas - not just about baby Jesus, but about what Jesus’ birth accomplished and set into motion?
How many of us make this the centerpoint of how we "do" Christmas, with all its trappings and temptations of materialistic hungering?
And how many of us make this the centerpoint of how we "live" Christmas, making the meaning of Christmas something that lives and breathes in us, affecting how we live throughout January through November?
Well, that’s where we are going these next few weeks. I want us to become people who go about Christmas differently than our world and society would have us go about it.
Romans 12:2 is our theme verse for these next four Sundays as I address the issue about going about things differently this Christmas.
And my hope is that it won’t just be for Christmas - but that it will become a lifestyle for us, because I think that healthy, authentic followers of Christ will exhibit these things year-round.
Please read this verse aloud with me, okay?
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
You might remember that a couple summers ago we did a four-week series on Biblical stewardship, and this was also the theme verse for that series.