Summary: Only the Holiness of God can fill the holes in our hearts and soul. An answer to the holes many of us find ourselves in at Christmas.

Title: Holes At Christmas

Date: 12/4/16

Place: BLCC

Text: Luke 2. 1-7, John 14.9, Psalm 11.3-4

CT: The holiness of God fills our empty holes.

[Screen 1]

FAS: One of the most popular films at Christmas is a movie my daughter still watches every year as a marathon of this movie has happened every Christmas for the last several years. A Christmas Story. In the plot, young Ralphie sets his heart on an air rifle for Christmas, and endures ridicule and scorn in his quest for this gift he believes will make him happy. In the end, he has his toy weapon, and falls asleep on Christmas Day with a smile on his lips.

So what does this tale, which doesn’t even have Ralphie’s family going to church on Christmas, have to do with our purpose today? Everything. Ralphie was looking for happiness. We know he saw some goodness in that little BB gun. He saw himself as a secret agent, decoding Ovaltine messages from the radio, as a valiant cowboy defending his cowering family from violent thieves. He even assumed the role of hero for a moment, and, despite his size and cowardice, gave a good thrashing to the real villain of the film. In other words, Ralphie wanted to be a hero. He was really looking to fill up the deep hole he felt in his life.1

1)Cunningham, Pat W. Sermon-Filling The Holes…A Christmas Story; Sermon Central

LS: What or who do we as followers of Jesus look for to fill the holes we find in our hearts, especially the ones that often become more evident during the Christmas season.

[Screen 2] Holes At Christmas

This has been a tough week for many people in our church family and in our community. And if we are not careful we will give in to the sadness and despair of it all. Our holes can seem so large that we lose ourselves in them.

How do we avoid this as followers of Jesus?

Christmas. I love Christmas with all its nostalgia and wonderful memories of Christmases past. I love the spirit of Christmas that can bring peace and joy. That is what the first Christmas was for.

The problem for some people I know and love is that Christmas for them is so busy and chaotic they begin to dread Christmas and not enjoy it at all. I know one young lady that almost gets physically ill at Christmas.

Christmas is a time of interruptions. Now we enjoy a lot of these interruptions. We like to interrupt our diets to enjoy awesome meals prepared by good cooks.

We enjoy interruptions from work or school to celebrate with friends.

We enjoy interruptions when loved ones drop in unannounced to just say hi without any reason or wanting anything. Don’t do that much any more. Maybe we should.

But we could do without interruptions of terrible snowstorms or in our case this year firestorms that effect so many.

Or how about a call from someone like cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. Remember him. [Screen 3]

Clark: So when did you get the tenement on wheels?

Eddie: Oh, That uh, that there is an RV. Yeah, yeah borrowed it off a buddy of mine. He took my house, I took the RV. It’s a good looking vehicle ain’t it?

Clark: Yeah, it looks nice parked in the driveway.

Eddie: Yeah, it sure does. But, don’t you go falling in love with it now, because, we are taking it with us when we leave here next month.

[Screen 4]

Talk about interrupting. Poor Clark.

Interruptions are a part of Christmas.

Interruptions are a part of life.

Just when you think you have got it all figured out and you are set something happens that changes everything. This happens to us all, at one time or another.

Just when you get the car paid off…major breakdown.

Just when retirement looks like it might actually happen…tuition comes due.

Just when everything is going great…job loss; sickness; broken heart; broken body.

All interruptions that shake us awake from the dream life we thought we had.

They bring fear and anxiety. They steal our sleep and take our joy. Literally.

They cause us to question God and even turn away from Him.

I have sat and grieved with several people who are facing very severe and devastating interruptions.

Loved ones lost to tragedy or illness.

Relationships shattered leaving behind loneliness and anger and rejection.

Financial crisis due to a lost job or crashing markets.

[Screen 5]

For many, these days we call holidays become hole-idays. Huge empty holes form in our hearts and soul.

Maybe you are finding yourself here this season.

More tear than cheer.

More fear than revere this Christmas.

Seeing other people with laughing happy children is a reminder of how empty your hole is.

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