Summary: This sermon looks at some ways we need to prepare for Christmas based on those who were there. It looks at focusing on the purpose of Christmas, how Mary prepared herself, our need to share the real meaning, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Getting Ready for Christmas
Thanksgiving is over, and already the push is on. Christmas is right around the corner and already as a society we’ve endured Black Friday, one of our nation’s best days to get a deal on Christmas giving, that is, until tomorrow when Cyber Monday hits, which is the Internet’s version.
All this got me thinking about how our society gets ready for the Christmas holiday.
Weekends will be filled with anxious holiday shoppers trying to get everything on their Christmas list. They’ll go from store to store, from one Internet site after another all to find that special gift and the best price possible, and they’re not afraid of a little knock down drag out fight to do it.
So much for a season of comfort and joy!
And let’s not forget the decorations. Many do it up big time. They put up their Christmas lights, Santa and his reindeer on the roof, snowmen on their front lawns, and they substitute Jingle Bells for their front door chime.
And then there is the inside of the house as we put up our Christmas trees, wreaths, and hang up our Christmas Socking’s with care. With bows, balls, and bulbs we decorate just about every inch of our homes.
But before we can decorate anything we have to do a through cleaning so that we can make room to put up all these wonderful decorations.
And so with a great deal of time and money we ready ourselves for Christmas.
But what about the baby Jesus in the manger part of Christmas? What about Him?
If it were up to the world they would outlaw the baby, they’d outlaw Jesus. They take Him and the manger scene down in the public square. They forbid any mention of Him. What they want is to take the day where we celebrate the birth of Jesus and make it no longer a holy day but a holiday and celebrate it as a cultic celebration known as “Winter Solstice.”
They have taken the name of Jesus or Christ completely out of the holiday and replaced it with the letter “X,” and call it “X-Mas.” They take the phrase “Merry Christmas,” and replace it with the salutation, “Happy Holiday.”
What has happened to Christmas?
What has happened is that we get so caught up with the physical that we neglect the spiritual side of what Christmas is all about. But no matter what society tries to do and turn Christmas into, Christmas always was and will be spiritual.
Christmas is about man’s relationship to God through the birth of Jesus Christ, who is both Savior and Lord, who came to reconcile us to Father God.
So the question becomes, “How do we prepare for the spiritual side of?”
Let me share with you some of the ways that I believe we should get ready for this holiday season based on those who were there and what they did.
1. Focus on Christmas’ Purpose
We are to focus on the purpose of Christmas.
Our Society sees Christmas as a time to give and receive gifts. It’s where we can get a couple of days off work. And it’s a time where people get drunk and party, breaking just about every one of God’s Ten Commandments.
And as we can all guess, this is the furthest thing from what the real purpose of Christmas is all about.
The purpose is to remember that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
And so Christmas is to remember that Jesus left His heavenly estate and came down to earth as a baby for this very purpose, to be one of us to become that perfect sinless sacrifice for our sin so we can have an eternity in God’s presence.
Jesus was born to be the sacrificial Lamb of God.
This was initially promised through Abraham as he said to his son, Isaac, whom he was about to sacrificed.
“My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:8 NKJV)
I really find the wording interesting and revealing. God would provide Himself the lamb, that is, God would be the Lamb.
And so it was that when Jesus came to John the Baptist, John declared,
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJV)
And so to focus on the purpose of Christmas is to focus upon Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead who came to earth to provide Himself as that sacrificial Lamb in order to die for us so that we can have eternal life.
Another way that we can prepare for Christmas is to follow the example of another who was intimately involved in the very first Christmas.