Summary: Instead of trusting in a stimulus package or a health care reform system that only creates false hope, believers can prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the hope of the world.
November 29, 2009
Making Room for Christ at Christmas
Luke 2: 36-38
Intro.: I have a big announcement to make this morning. No it’s not about someone being pregnant, it’s not about a sports team going to a bowl game, it’s not a new stimulus package, it’s not about the potential of a white Christmas in SW Louisiana. It’s this – THERE ARE ONLY 26 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.
How many of you already knew that? How many of you are worried that’s not enough time? For some of you, you already knew that, probably most of the female population. Others of you didn’t know that and you still don’t care that there are only 26 days left until Christmas.
It’s been said that Christmas is more for the little or common people. This line of thinking actually began in the Bible. In reading about the birth of Jesus, we realize the Generals didn’t know anything about it. The Roman Caesar didn’t know anything about it. The Jewish high priest nor the Greek philosophers knew anything about the birth of Jesus.
There’s a overlooked story in the Bible that describes a lady that waited, and waited and waited for the first Christmas. The Bible speaks about an elderly woman named Anna, and her story is told in Luke 2:36-38.
Her name means “grace” or “favor.” Anna may have been one of the “little” people in the birth and life of Jesus, but she is really a spiritual giant. Why? Because HER ATTITUDE OF HOPE SET HER APART – a hope so remarkable we still speak of it today in the church. Her hope though is really the result of her faithful preparation.
With only 26 days left until Christmas I want to help prepare us all for Christmas. Not the house decorating, tree trimming or gift buying, gift getting, party attending, family traveling that many times we associate with Christmas. But the PREPARATION of the CELEBRATION of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind. Yes indeed, Jesus is still the reason for the season.
I. Intentionally Be READY for Christmas
A. Now don’t miss the obvious.
1. Unfortunately I cannot speak 100% from experience on this but I can speak from the perspective of being married to one who does her best to be ready for Christmas.
2. Christmas around our house starts November 1 with Diana playing Christmas music.
3. In an ironic way our retail world may help us get ready for Christmas more than we realize.
4. Every year they start just a little earlier moving out their merchandise to the shelves.
B. Ladies see if this doesn’t fit your nature, personality.
1. You start talking to your kids in August about what they want for Christmas.
2. Then you go on your scouting expedition for ads, the Internet, visiting stores, comparing prices.
3. At the RIGHT time and at the RIGHT price and at the RIGHT store you bag that bargain and take it home and hide it.
4. After all the gifts are purchased you wrap them and neatly place them under the Christmas tree.
5. Then you do the most amazing thing: You wait for the time to come for people to open their presents in surprise because they actually got something that they wanted and could use.
6. The way most of the male population gets ready for Christmas is to allow themselves about 24 hours -- 22 to psyche themselves up to go and the other 2 to do the actually shopping.
7. I dare say there are a lot more of us who will fall prey to a 24 HOUR Christmas readiness rather than a 24 DAY readiness.
8. My question – “Should this be so for believers?”
9. Should this be so for the church?
10. I intend to argue from the negative.
C. The single greatest reason Christ gets CROWDED out of Christmas is that we are not prepared.
1. We are not prepared mentally, physically and certainly not spiritually.
2. We are not intentionally prepared for the real meaning of Christmas to stir us down deep.
3. We are not prepared to celebrate His birth again.
4. We allow all kinds of things to fill up our calendar so that we have to put off the most important thing until it is an afterthought.
5. Three or four days before Christmas we start thinking I wish Christmas would get here and be over.
D. If we are going to make room for Christ and not miss the celebration of the coming of the Messiah we must be ready.
1. Illus.: # 1 Lady sending out Christmas cards.
2. It would be horrible to wake up on Christmas morning and realize that our lack of preparedness caused us to miss celebrating Jesus’ birth.