Summary: Christmas Eve Short Sermon
LIVING THE CHRISTMAS STORY
Tonight as we prepare for Christmas, I would like us to center ourselves on the thought that we should live out the Christmas story every day of our lives. Jesus came so that we might "have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10). God wants us to have a full life and I believe that living out the Christmas story each and everyday is a great place to start living to the fullest.
Obedience in the Bible is a very specific idea and is greatly emphasized in the New Testament. Jesus is our ultimate example of obedience. Philippians 2:8 tells us "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yea even death of the cross." The Apostle Peter designates believers in Christ as "children of obedience" (1 Peter 1:14).
How does that relate to the Christmas story? We see in Matthew 1 (verses 18-25) that Joseph was faced with a difficult choice. He had the choice to divorce the woman he was pledged to or accept what has happened and listen to the Lord. Joseph was completely obedient to God and followed God instructions in everything. We find in Luke 1 when Mary is told of her impending pregnancy that she was totally obedient to God. 1:38 shows us her obedience when she says, "‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’"
May we live out the Christmas story in our lives by being obedient to God as well.
We find many instances in the Christmas story where God is given glory. Luke 2 shows us that when the shepherds go and visit the child, they go away from the manger scene glorifying God for what they had seen and heard. In fact, they did not keep what had happened a secret, but woke everyone up and told them about it. They gave God glory. The wise men in Matthew 2:9-12 come and visit Jesus as well. They bring gifts to Him that glorify who He is. They bow down and worship Jesus and give God glory.
But what does that mean, ‘to give glory?’ To give glory to God, means that you enhance His reputation by honoring what He has done. To give glory to God, means that you place Him in the ultimate position of power and humble yourself below Him. To give glory to God, means that we highly value Him.
May we live out the Christmas story in our lives by giving Him glory as well.
Unlike any other baby in human history, the One born that night in Bethlehem was unique. He was not created by a human father and mother, but was truly the Son of God. He had a heavenly pre-existence (John 1) and He is God, the Son. Philippians tells us that He is One with the Creator of the universe and chose to become part of His creation (Philippians 2). This is why Christmas is sometimes called the incarnation, a word which means "in the flesh." At Christmas, God came in the flesh. That is why Jesus says that if you have seen Him that you have seen the Father as well (John 14:7-9). In the birth of Jesus, the eternal, all-powerful and all-knowing Creator came to earth in the flesh. Why would he come as a baby? Why would God have such a plan?
God planned from the beginning of human sin to bring Jesus into the world. The whole Bible is all about Jesus. Jesus came so that we might have the opportunity to have reconciliation with God. Jesus was all about forgiveness and healing and reconciliation.
May we live out the Christmas story by living our lives like Jesus.
Living out the Christmas story means so much more than we touched on this evening. Yet, living a life of obedience is a start to living it out. Giving glory to God is a start. Trying to pattern our lives after Jesus is definitely a start to living out the Christmas story.