Summary: Christmas as we celebrate it in America won’t change anything, but Christmas as the celebration of "The Word Become Flesh" will bring us love, peace and purpose in our lives.
How Does Christmas Change My World?
Theme: The birth of Christ brings love, peace and purpose to our lives
Seed: multiple sermons from other pastors and personal study.
Purpose: To challenge the listeners to allow Christ into their lives this season so that he can bring true transformation to their lives.
INTRODUCTION: How does Christmas change your world? Think about that for just a minute. How does Christmas change your world? How will your world be different on December 26th, January 18th, February 12th or March 23rd because of Christmas? Will you be happier? Will you have more peace in your life? Will you be a better person? Or will you simply have more things and owe more money and have to work more hours to help eliminate the additional strain that debt puts on your budget?
If we are completely honest, Christmas doesn’t really change our world all that much. Even for those of us believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and the Savior of the world, Christmas doesn’t change our lives that much. Largely, we celebrate Christmas as a great American holiday. Snow, Santa, holly and mistletoe, family and friends gathered around the fireplace remembering what Christmas was like when we were kids. The shopping, the parties, and all of the busy activities that we cram into the season are a part of how Christmas goes. But when everything is said and done, the only real change Christmas brings to our world is that it makes us a little bit poorer and a lot more tired; and all of this for an event that God never called us to commemorate.
We are never once asked to remember the birth of Christ. Our celebration of Christmas is a purely human endeavor. He commanded us to remember his death, which we do through the act of communion, but he never asked us to celebrate his birth. That’s our thing. It’s not a bad thing, in fact it can be quite good, but does it change our lives?
The purpose of Christmas, the birth of Christ, was to bring a change to our world. I don’t mean just “the world” in general, but I mean he came to bring a change to each and ever one of our personal worlds. Where we carry out life on a day to day basis, our job, our relationships, our families, our spirituality, all should be radically transformed by Christmas. Not transformed by our celebration of Christmas, but transformed by Christmas itself. How does Christmas change my world?
When the angels announced the birth of Christ they said,
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:10-14 (NIV)
The angels tell us that the arrival of Christ in our world, Christmas, is to be joyful, it should be something that helps quell our fears, and it should be something that brings us peace. Yet most of us today wouldn’t say that Christmas quells our fears, brings us true joy or that it truly brings us peace. No, I would guess that most of us would be hard pressed to see just how Christmas changes our world. But it should and it can. Let’s explore how Christmas, not just the celebration of a holiday, but how Christmas itself will change our world if we’ll allow it to happen.
Christmas will change my world by…
• …allowing me to experience genuine LOVE.
God is love. We’ve all heard that said many, many times. The Apostle John wrote those words in his first letter to the believers in the Mediterranean world.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I John 4:7-8 (NIV)
At Christmas we celebrate God becoming flesh, becoming a man so that he could free all men from the power and penalty of sin.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”