Summary: What Christmas is about
MY EYES HAVE SEEN
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
This day we celebrate Christmas, Santa has come the kids are playong with their gifts, we are setting back and enjoying life. But what is Christmas really about? HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. Is Christmas more than gifts? What is it truly about? This morning I want to try to answer that question.
History records for us an interesting footnote. It was during the dark winter of 1864. At Petersburg, Virginia, the Confederate army of Robert E. Lee faced the Union divisions of General Ulysses S. Grant. The war was now three and a half years old and the glorious charge had long since given way to the muck and mud of trench warfare. Late one evening one of Lee’s generals, Major General George Pickett, received word that his wife had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Up and down the line the Southerners began building huge bonfires in celebration of the event. These fires did not go unnoticed in the Northern camps and soon a nervous Grant sent out a reconnaissance patrol to see what was going on. The scouts returned with the message that Pickett had had a son and these were celebratory fires. It so happened that Grant and Pickett had been contemporaries at West Point and knew one another well, so to honor the occasion Grant, too, ordered that bonfires should be built. What a peculiar night it was. For miles on both sides of the lines fires burned. No shots fired. No yelling back and forth. No war fought. Only light, celebrating the birth of a child. But it didn’t last forever. Soon the fires burned down and once again the darkness took over. The darkness of the night and the darkness of war. The good news of Christmas is that in the midst of a great darkness there came a light, and the darkness was not able to overcome the light. It was not just a temporary flicker. It was an eternal flame. We need to remember that. There are times, in the events of the world and in the events of our own personal lives, that we feel that the light of the world will be snuffed out. But the Christmas story affirms that whatever happens, the light still shines.
I. CHRISTMAS DAY IS ABOUT SEEING
A. The glory of God
1. God's creation
2. God's wisdom
3. God's justice
B. The love of God
1. In His mercy
2. In His grace
3. For man
C. The sacrifice of God
1. On the cross
2. For those who did not love love Him
3. Of His son
Mark Lowry, a Christian comedian observed that Mary’s silence at the cross always amazed him. If he were being crucified in the middle of town, his mother would have "Pitched a fit", but Mary never said a word. Lowry wondered if maybe what made the difference for her was remembering back to that 1st Christmas. Remembering touching his little hands and feet and counting his fingers and toes. On a serious note, Lowry says: "I wonder if she realized then that those were the same fingers that had scooped out the oceans and formed the seas. Mary probably counted those little toes-I wonder if she realized that those were the same feet that had walked on streets of gold and had been worshipped by angels. Those little lips were the same lips that had spoken the world into existence. When Mary kissed her little baby, she wasn’t just kissing another baby -she was kissing the face of God. 33 years later she’s standing on a hillside watching blood pour from His veins, from the side of her own son... and she didn’t open her mouth. What a great testimony to the fact that He wasn’t just a great prophet He wasn’t just a great preacher He wasn’t just a great teacher He was the virgin born son of God. He was our Savior. And... He didn’t just die for us, He died for His own mother. The baby boy she had delivered on that 1st Christmas was now on a cross delivering her.