Summary: Looking at the hope that God offers at Christmas
Christmas Beyond Compare – Hope beyond Compare – Rom 15:7-13
Gladstone Baptist Church – 25/12/04 am
Well Happy Christmas to you all. I do hope that Christmas for you is a time of joy, peace and hope – A Christmas beyond Compare.
But you know, Christmas isn’t like that for everyone … For some it is filled with pain and regret. It is a sad time without joy, without peace and without hope. I was reading one such person’s feelings about Christmas this week
Christmas has been for me, a time of sadness and stress for as long as I can remember.
Having been brought up as a “Christian”, through Sunday School and School, I always enjoyed the real Christmas, with carols and church services.
I have vague memories of childhood Christmases with lots of food and drink and arguments and tears.
As an adult, Christmas was always a time to be brave and ‘do it for the family’ after John died. (Sadly, I don’t remember much about the Christmases I spent with him)
I remember a time when I wanted to make a donation to a worthy cause, instead of trying to think of gifts for those of us who have more than all we need. This idea was rejected.
Now it is Christmas time again, and again I have tried to do the right thing by everyone. This has resulted in tears and stress. (My fault, sorry!)
Thus I have decided to forgo Christmas this year... I will not be giving any gifts in keeping with the need I feel to disassociate myself with this obligation.
Where is Christmas?
Is it in the manger still?
Or is it in the bank?
Or maybe the department store,
With carols playing
Things that no one wants or needs?
Give them money then instead,
It will mean much more
Than peace and love and understanding…
Money is what we adore!
Not tiny babe
In yonder stall
Who came to save us all.
Who took this sacred time?
Destroyed its meaning
Made it just another scrap
Of lust and want and greed?
Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Let’s pretend to all be jolly,
Tra la la la la, la la la la!
For many people, Christmas has become a rat race. There is no joy in it. There is no peace in it and it certainly doesn’t bring any hope what so ever. We need to stop – de-clutter Christmas. We need to remember that the Reason for the Season is Jesus. It is not presents, Christmas sales, Decorations, food, penguins at the north pole. It is about a baby and this baby came to give us gifts that are beyond compare.
Over the last month, we’ve been looking in the night services at a couple of gifts that Jesus came to give us.
1) We have looked at the gift of Peace that Jesus brought us. Peace beyond Compare. Peace that comes from having a relationship with God. It is a peace that can exist regardless of all the other problems and hassles we are having in this life.
2) We have looked at the gift of Joy that Jesus brought us. Joy beyond Compare. Too many of us live a life that is joyless. We seek joy, but the Joy that God offers doesn’t need to be found – it is ours to own now and comes straight from God.
If you want to find out more about these 2 gifts, I encourage you to borrow or order the tapes or video.