Summary: I must look to my inward parts and find His birth in me, for that is what is required to truly celebrate Christmas. Yes, I can rejoice and say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus.” but, I should rejoice more when I say, “Happy Birthday to Jesus in me.”
Message Title: “Into” this World
(1 John 5:4) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Someone once said that, “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.”
God sent us a Savior, Jesus, almost 2,010 years ago. He was sent into this world, and born not of this world. He was born without the history, but history is one reason He was sent. He grew up in this world, but was not influenced by this world.
Jesus was born into this world. If he had been born of this world, He would have been under the sin curse of Adam, so He was born of the Spirit. We take this time to honor the birth of Jesus, our Lord and our Savior. The world calls it Christmas….but, what is that?
What is Christmas anyway? Do you think that when Pope Julius I authorized December 25th to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in A.D. 353, he would have ever thought that it would become what it is today?
What is Christmas anyway? Do you think that when Professor Charles Follen lit candles on the first Christmas tree in America in 1832, he would have thought that Americans would be using over 40 million trees with much more elaborate decorations?
What is Christmas anyway? Is it just a time to get together and eat your favorite desert or main dish? Listen to some of these:
Norway: The big festive feast takes place on Christmas Eve. Most people around the coastal regions eat fish – while inland they go for pork chops, specially prepared sausages and occasionally lamb.
Sweden: The Christmas feast consists of a smorgasbord of caviar, shellfish, cooked and raw fish and cheeses.
Ukraine: The people here prepare huge broths brimming with meat for Christmas Eve rather than Christmas day.
Czech Republic: Tradition dictates that the tree is not lit before Christmas Eve, then they have a big dinner of fish soup, salads, eggs and carp. Scarily, the number of people at the table must be even or it is believed the person without a partner will die next year.
Jamaica: Christmas dinner usually consists of rice, gungo peas, chicken, ox tail and curried goat.
Austria: A typical Christmas dinner would consist of braised carp served with gingerbread and beer sauce.
Poland: The traditional Christmas Eve supper consists of 12 non-meat dishes, representing the months of the year and featuring fish such as pike, herring and carp.
Quite a different variety of foods and traditions. And, yes, we all know that Christmas is not about the food, or the gifts, or the trees, or the decorations, it’s about Jesus and His birth. But, it’s more than that, too. Because, it’s about your re-birth, into God’s family. When you celebrate Christmas you celebrate Jesus’ birth, but do you also celebrate your own birth into the biggest family in the world? The Christian family, that is. We should!