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Summary: This sermon deals with the need for us to be changed if Christmas is to have a real meaning for our lives.

CHRISTMAS, HAS IT CHANGED YOU

12/20/92 Matt. 1:18-2:12 Isaiah 9:2-7 Text Isaiah 9:6-7

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Christmas, has it changed you? When asked how had Christmas

changed his life, one man responded, well I had a lot more money

before Christmas than I have after it. Christmas changes us into

frantic shoppers, busy house cleaners, talented decorators,

traveling visitors, hospitality hosts for family members and

excited young people looking forward to the gifts that we might

receive. Christmas changes businesses by brining in billions of

dollars on presents that will be given to others. Christmas

changes our work and school schedules by giving us days off.

Christmas changes our church giving, as we use what should have

been God’s money upon ourselves and our friends for presents.

Yet despite all these changes, somehow, that’s not what God

is looking for when He asks us the question, "Has it changed you

yet." The world would have us believe that Christmas is the

happiest time of the year, and that we are all going to have a

great time, with great gifts, and great get togethers. We think

that the lights, and the decorations, and the beautiful trees,

and the presents are going to transform our lives into some kind

of miraculous peace and joy and happiness.

The reality however is that when Jesus is left out of

Christmas, nothing really changes. More people will feel lonely

this week than any other time of the year. More people are going

to commit suicide this week than any other time of the year.

During the next two weeks, more people are going to lose family

members killed by drunk drivers than any other time of the year.

There will be parties and alcohol and drugs will be abundant, and

more wives and children will probably be abused this week because

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of them than any other time of the year.

You see for these reasons, the thought of Christmas is going

to bring up a lot of hurtful memories, a lot of pain, and a lot

of sadness. Some of you know what I’m talking about because you

had someone very close to you die or killed around Christmas

time. I can remember as a child, the joy I felt on Christmas

morning was shattered by the pain I felt Christmas night when my

parents returned home from the club, drugged with alcohol and

fighting accusing each other of all kinds of things. I thank God

that my parents have since came to the Lord and all that is in

the past. But for some of us, that same scene will be repeated

in our families this coming weekend.

This Christmas is going to be hard for some of us because it

will be the first one we spend without our mother, our grandmoth

er, our husband, our wife, our children, our brother, our sister

or our real good fried. The family get togethers that many of us

will have, are not all going to be pleasant. Old rivalries be

tween children who are now adults will flare up. Some of us will

have to be with those who sexually abused us. Some of us will

have to be with those who have used us, lied about us, and done

us wrong, and yet they will be there with a smile as though

nothing ever happened. Some of us know that once so and so in

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