Summary: Like Mary we can have an unforgettable Christmas if we learn to give of oursleves to othres for God.
An unforgettable Christmas
Give of yourself
This Christmas 1 of 3 things will happen. You will either be ahead of schedule, on the ball, or fall behind. We all have our own way of doing things.
Fortunately we have someone in our family that keep things moving, mainly my wife. Just last week after church she had us, not so willingly I might add, put up the Christmas tree. I am glad she did, after all it will be nice to enjoy it through out the Christmas season.
This Christmas God wants us to have an unforgettable Christmas, like the people who experience first Christmas. To do so, look what happened to them and it can also happen to us.
Let us first look at Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus. Her story is found in Luke 1:26-38 and says to us to have an unforgettable Christmas, give of yourself.
I. Realizing we are chosen
Like you I like many things about Christmas. The bright lights o the homes and lawns; they are so warm and inviting. Andover always has some familiar lights and adds a few new things each year.
I like the music of Christmas – familiar Christmas carols, some redone by new groups and artists. Reliant K has a Christmas CD that is a lot of fun.
I like the giving. Now I am not a shopper so don’t call me to go with you. In fact I finally figured out why I don’t like Christmas shopping. It’s not the finding a parking place, the crowds, or even the time involved. It is the fact that everyone else around me seems to know what I am doing and I am often clueless as to what to buy for people. After all, I want to find the right gift that brings a smile to the person I have found it for.
I like Christmas food. My grand mother spoiled me on Christmas cookies. Her house was a menagerie of cookies and confections each Christmas. Some I still find available others uniquely grandma’s and dearly missed.
At the same I have some concerns about Christmas. It’s not that it is too commercial – although shortly after Holloween I noticed stores already putting out Christmas stuff. It’s not about the money. After all it is true that you can’t take it with you but we should not overspend. Ill. Just the other day I received a catalog that had written across the cover in big red letters, “It’s not too late.” Someone ahs quipped we are all being set up to spend money we don’t have, on things they don’t need, for people we don’t even like.
My concern is this – we can so caught up in Christmas ad not be really into Christmas. Into what God may want us to do this Christmas season. Think about it. People are more open and receptive to God at Christmas perhaps more than any other rime of year.
Ill. Just recently a local news channel ran a survey on the seasonal greeting of choice. Did people prefer Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas won hands done, 84% choosing this greeting. We need to be in on what God may want us to do this Christmas. How? First, realize we are chosen by God to touch lives for Him.
God revealed this to Mary, through Gabriel that first Christmas. Notice verse 28, “Greetings, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you.” Vs. 30, “you have found favor with God.” Verse 31, “You will be with child.” “You will give him the name Jesus.”
Mary was chosen to bring Jesus into the world. Highly favored, the Lord is with you. Now I am sure every Jewish girl was told growing up that the Messiah was coming, and maybe she would be chosen by God to be his mother. Do you think for a moment that this young lady thought she would be chosen? Highly favored? Probably not.
We all like Christmas. We get cards, send card. Bake and eat. Buy, wrap, and open. Get with family and friends. Yet do you stop long enough to realize we have been chosen by God to bring Jesus into the lives of the people each day as well as Christmas?
Are you sure? Yes I am. 1 Peter 2:9 says… We have chosen to touch lives for Christ, 24 7. Now I don’t know what is your grade you, the sports or activities your in, I only know that young people you have been chosen to touch lives at school are among the young people in our community. I don’t know where all of you work, your neighborhood, family members or friends. I do know you are chosen to touch lives for Jesus. Listen, because people are more open at this time of year, we need to realize and don’t forget that the Lord is with us.