Sermons

Summary: We face the danger of taking the Merry aspect of Christmas for granted.

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For most, Americans in particular, Christmas is the most artificial time of the year. Everything about it reeks of artificial, from the fake Christmas tree all the way to our Christmas greeting, “Merry Christmas,” and all the singing of Christmas carols. Few people really mean what they sing. All the traditions surrounding Christmas are not real. Santa Claus, sad to say, does not really exist.

It will be a wonderful time of celebration for many people as they gather with family and friends but it will also be a terrifying time for some. The loneliest time of the year is the Christmas holiday. More suicides are committed during this time of the year than any other time.

My worst Christmas…

I was about 12 and had spent all Saturday doing my Christmas shopping. I had to earn my own money and my primary source of income for Christmas shopping was muskrat trapping. At the time, I got about five dollars per muskrat and my goal was to have $100 for Christmas. I spent a lot of time early in the morning, in the freezing cold, checking my traps and retrieving my muskrats. At the time, I thought it was the greatest work in the world.

I had made enough money through my trapping to buy all the Christmas presents I needed for that year. My mother and I spent the whole day shopping going from store to store. There were no shopping malls near our home so we had to go to store after store after store to get our presents. As we bought our presents, we put them in the backseat of the car and went to the next store. We did this all day long.

We were through shopping for the day and had stopped at a store to get something for supper that night. When we came out to the car, we noticed something seemed wrong. As we got to the car, we noticed the back door was ajar and when we got up to the car we noticed all the presents in the back seat were gone. All of the Christmas presents for that year were stolen.

At the time, it was a heartbreaking experience. I remember it to this day. All the thief stole were replaceable items that only temporarily cause us grief.

I learned that the importance of Christmas is not what you get, because that can easily be taken away. The importance of Christmas is rising above your present circumstances and rejoicing in the real meaning of Christmas.

Having a “Merry Christmas” comes from the heart not from the pocketbook.

Theme…

Some definitions of merry are rather incompatible with fundamental spiritual principles.

If we are truly going to have a Merry Christmas, it needs to be based upon a foundation that cannot be compromised by circumstances or situations.

It is quite easy to be all caught up with the enthusiasm of the season and really forget what is behind the Christmas story. It has nothing to do with shopping, parties and wishing everybody a “Merry Christmas.”

A very interesting verse in the book of Revelation casts a little bit of light upon this.

Revelation 11:10, “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”

This of course refers to the death of those two prophets sent from God to give witness and testimony to the earth. Upon their death, the whole world celebrated and the thing I want to point out here is, their celebration resembles our Christmas celebration today.

I am all on the side of having a “Merry Christmas.” I like the Christmas carols of the season. I enjoy the very atmosphere that comes this time of the year. However, I think if I am going to have and continue to have a Merry Christmas I must not take it for granted.

I. Things that can compromise my Merry Christmas.

For the most part, we take things for granted. We take for granted that things will always be as they are or were. However, there are things that happen that can compromise having a Merry Christmas.

Let me just suggest a few.

1. If we focus too much on peripheral things and activities we can compromise our Merry Christmas.

It is so easy to be caught up with nonessential things and by the time we realize it, it is often is too late. We need to understand the very fundamental aspect of life is spiritual. I know this is not popular today. Man was created with the spiritual component. This is greatly neglected in today’s culture.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying activities and all that goes along with it. The Christmas party, New Year’s Eve parties and such. We need to be careful that we do not define ourselves by what we do. Because when we are not able “to do,” we then lose track of who we really are.

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