Summary: A Christmas message
Jesus: the Gift of Christmas
-Great to see all of you hear this morning for our Christmas Celebration. I love Christmas.
-Christmas is a time that holds special meaning for all of us.
-For some Christmas is a time of reunion; your get to see family that you don’t normally see.
-For others Christmas is a time of creating new memories; watching little kids grin from ear to ear with their new toy.
-For some, Christmas is a lonely time of year that highlights things that are wrong with their life…not everyone loves Christmas.
-As an adult, Christmas isn’t as magical as when we were kids.
-Even looking back on family Christmases gone by I realize that it wasn’t as magical as it may have seemed.
-It was mostly good times but sprinkled with some family drama, an occasional swear word, and some borderline drunk relatives.
-But on Christmas morning my grandma, who survived the Great Depression, made sure that there were so many presents we couldn’t walk through the living room.
-But before we’d tear open all those presents we had to make the occasion more spiritual by reading the Christmas story.
-And for the most part everyone paused to remember the true meaning of Christmas which is Jesus.
-Everyone listened to the familiar tale except Great Uncle Fred.
-He was the one family member who was a mystery to me as a kid
-On the Christian side of my family he was the only one who didn’t go to church.
-Uncle Fred was kind of a ne’er-do-well. He never really held a job.
-He chain smoked and watched ESPN like it was his job.
-I never remember touching a present until we’d read the story of Jesus, but I never remember Uncle Fred listening to the story.
-And once that story was told, we kids assaulted the presents.
-You can think what you want about materialism at Christmas, but the birth of Jesus; Christmas time is about gifts.
-Think about what we’ve learned so far in this Holy Days series.
THE STOCKING STUFFERS
-THERE WERE A WHOLE SERIES OF GIFTS LEADING UP TO CHRIST’S BIRTH:
ZECHARIAH’S ANGELIC VISITATION.
-Zechariah the priest was chosen for the once in a lifetime opportunity to enter the most Holy Place.
-He got to see the holy of holies where the presence of God resided. That was a gift that very few people ever received.
-And then he had a visit from the mighty angel Gabriel. A gift!
-This righteous man, a humble priest was the first person to hear from God in over 400 years! That was also a gift!
ELIZABETH’S MIRACULOUS PREGNANCY.
-Elizabeth was an elderly woman who’d never had children of her own. He neighbors suspected she was under some kind of curse.
-But suddenly, and miraculously, she was with child. And her baby would be John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. What a gift!
MARY’S MIRACULOUS PREGNANCY.
-A teenage girl named who was average in every apparent way, was chosen to become the mother of God.
-Out of all women on earth she was chosen to give birth to the Savior of the World!
-She would know that the child growing inside her was God in the flesh. The baby that she bore would become the light of salvation for the entire world. What a gift!