Summary: We have hope because of Christmas.
NEWS THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU:
A COMMUNITY OF HOPE
C: A Hopeful Community
Pr: WE HAVE HOPE BECAUSE OF CHRISTMAS.
TS: We will find in our study of Luke 2 five reasons why Christmas gives us hope.
The ____ reason we have hope is the…
I. INCLUSIVE MESSAGE (8)
II. FULFILLED EXPECTATION (10-11)
III. OBSERVABLE EVENT (12)
IV. APPROPRIATE GLORY (14)
V. GIVEN CHILD (16-17)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Rejoice in your hope.
• Come and worship.
RMBC 03 December 06 AM
Walking along the beach, John tripped over a half buried kerosene lantern. He rubbed its side and sure enough, a genie materialized.
"I can’t grant your wishes, I don’t work like other genies" explained the freed spirit, "But since it is Christmastime, I’ll give you three gifts for releasing me: a potion to cure ill health, a very large diamond and a dinner date with a famous movie star. By tomorrow afternoon, you will have received all these gifts."
When John returned home from work the next evening, he excitedly asked his wife if anything had been delivered.
"Yes," she replied. "It’s been an unusual day. At 2 pm, a 55-gallon drum of chicken soup arrived. About a half-hour later, a telegram came saying that a long-lost relative had left you a minor-league baseball stadium. Ten minutes ago, MGM called, inviting you to dinner with Lassie tonight."
What do you hope to receive this time of the year?
It is a time for gifts.
We like to give gifts, especially ones that we have put a lot of thought into.
And admittedly, we like to receive them.
It is nice to feel loved and appreciated with a gift.
Last year during this time, you may remember that we asked this question from C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – can you imagine what it would be like if it was always winter, and never Christmas?
That is a very cold proposition, isn’t it?
We don’t want that to happen, because Christmas is a time of joy.
It is a wonderful time of the year for friendship and family.
1. We should not lose sight of how extraordinary a time of year this is.
The reason is because it is so much more than about family and friends.
Admittedly, we are bombarded with distractions during this time of the year.
The stores are vying for our attention.
They want us to buy, buy, buy.
The kids are filled with stories about Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
But as Christians, we know it is so much more than that, because…
2. WE HAVE HOPE BECAUSE OF CHRISTMAS.
When we use the word “hope” in English, it can mislead us from its use in Scripture.
When we use the word, we say such things, “I hope it doesn’t snow,” or “I hope the Bills get to another Super Bowl and not lose.”
It is generally used in reference to some thing that we either want or do not want to happen.
The word that is most often used for hope in the New Testament has to do with an expectation, or an anticipation, and is usually associated with a good experience.
This time of the year illustrates this well.
Consider, for example, one of your children on Christmas Eve.
The child may “hope” that the parents remembered that he/she wanted that certain toy for Christmas.
He/she doesn’t know for certain that is what they will get, but they hope so.
On the other hand, he/she has another hope that is more definite.
It is the expectation of the morning.
He/she is so excited about the coming of the next morning that they may have difficulty falling asleep.
But it is not anxiety that keeps them awake; it is anticipation.
It is a certain hope.
He/she knows the day and all that it represents and that it is coming.
Then they will awake, come down from their room and in the morning light, see packages under the tree that they have not seen there before.
And they will know for certain that some are for them.
This is the sort of hope that we are talking about today.
It is not a yearning for an uncertain thing, but a confident anticipation and expectation of something that will indeed, come.
So, today, since it is our goal to be a hopeful community…
3. We will find in our study of Luke 2 five reasons why Christmas gives us hope.
(8) And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. (10) And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,