Summary: Sermon #3 for the Christmas series Shopping for a Savior.
“SHOPPING FOR A SAVIOR”
SERMON #3: “IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE CHRISTMAS”
President John F. Kennedy’s goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 60’s decade launched the space program and our imaginations. Everyone seemed caught up in the hope and the reality of human beings transported through space to walk on the surface of the moon. When that day came, most every American watched in awe and fascination. But as with any feat, no matter how significant, the admiration disappeared and the attraction was no more. Sadly such has become the case for some people with Christmas.
Each year I hear people say, “It doesn’t seem like Christmas!” I’ve even heard people say “If I hear one more person wish me a “Happy Holiday or Merry Christmas!” I think I will just burst!” How often have you heard that over the last few Christmas’ or over the course of the last several weeks? How often have you and I said that? Sadly, I’ve come to notice that many Christians have a bah humbug type attitude and they are just fed up with Christmas. I’ve heard Christians say how much they’re going to dread Christmas because of all the parties, all the shopping, the traveling, getting together with family, and all the cooking. It’s as if these people begin to cringe from the Friday after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. Some have even gone so far as to say that they dread the entire five weeks of it and look forward to the day the tree comes down and the decorations go back into the box. The question is why? Why do we dread Christmas? The reason some of us dread Christmas is because we have taken the true meaning away from Christmas. It’s like the story I read this past week that spoke of two women who were having lunch in an elegant hotel and they were approached by a mutual friend who asked them what the occasion was for the meal. One lady replied, “We are celebrating the birth of my baby boy.” The friend asked, “But where is he?” “Oh,” said the mother, “you didn’t think I’d bring him with me, did you?” What a picture of the way the world treats Jesus at Christmas. You see the reason some of us dread Christmas so much is because we have made Christmas about shopping, parties, presents, and Santa Clause and we have completely taken the Christ out of Christmas.
Now church that’s a scary thought to think of Christians who are fed up with Christmas! Now isn’t that an odd-sounding thought. Yet, there are more and more of us each year that are pushing Christmas farther and farther away from ourselves and our families. Why? Why are we pushing Jesus farther and farther away? Church I believe it’s because we as Christians have lost the wonder of Christmas. We have lost the awe of Christmas. Nothing amazes us anymore and it’s because we can send men in space ships to the moon, it’s because we have the Internet, microchips, modern medicine—and these are all wonders—that even our grandparents could not have foretold; yet we have become a generation characterized not by awe, but by doubt and mockery. We live in a day of technological, medical, and military advancement yet we take it for granted. We have lost something. Something powerful. Something needed. Something to reawaken our souls. We have lost the wonder of Christmas and it’s time that we get it back.
Read Luke 2:8-20
1. LOST WONDER.
Even at Christmas. If we aren’t careful we become too stressed, too much of a scrooge, more concerned about counting dollars and counting calories and miss the magic. If we aren’t careful we will reduce Christmas to little more than an elaborate fable. And, in an effort to be politically correct we will write Jesus out of the story. We will secularize the holy day to the point that someone who has never heard of Christ or Christmas couldn’t get the message even if they tried. Pretty soon all people will say what too many people are saying now, “It doesn’t seem like Christmas.”
Why does it not seem like Christmas? Is it because of the rat race, the obligations, and the adult responsibilities? Is it because the newness and freshness has worn off? Is it because there is no mystery, no magic? Is it because the light has dimmed and the music has faded? I would invite you to see Christmas through the eyes of a child this season. Look at Christmas again, as though you are seeing it for the first time. See the lights and the decorations anew. Hear the music, the sounds, and the carols afresh. Tell the story of Jesus’ magnificent birth like it is the first time you have told it. Let this Christmas reawaken your wonder.