Christmas Eve Service
Not Just Another Christmas Carol. Not just a Nativity Scene. We see Jesus as a baby in the Manger. Don’t just leave HIM there.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
I was out Christmas shopping the other night, and while I was walking through the store, I heard a familiar Christmas song. I realized that they had been playing Christmas songs all along, and while in the hustle and bustle of things, this song had caught me off guard.
What I mean to say is this. I realized that we live in a society that is so pushed to the commercialism of the “Christmas Holiday” that we often times do not stop and think about what it is all about.
The Song that cause me to stop and listen...was the line "to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray"
That stanza says...
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
For Jesus Christ our Saviour (or Remember Christ our Saviour)
Was born upon this day (or Was born on Christmas Day)
To save us all from Satan’s power (or To save poor souls from Satan’s power)
When we were gone astray (or When they had gone astray)
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
Here in this song, the words are words of hope, comfort and joy. To read the words of this song is to put the entire nativity scene and the events of that first Christmas to song.
Then I thought. How many folks are so busy shopping, and decorating their homes that they really don’t know what they are truly celebrating.
Many a lawn has the nativity scene set up for all to see. Many a table or Christmas tree has the nativity set up to commemorate this holy day.
I wonder, how many homes have the nativity and glory in that event, but don’t really have JESUS.
Driving through the countryside, we like to see the Christmas lights. And you should see the expression of Jillian, our soon to be 3 year old. Her excitement is great in seeing the lights and lawn ornaments. “Look daddy, snowman…look daddy, santa. Oh pretty. Pretty Daddy” she says. But the thing that got me most, was when she pointed to the lights, and with delight gasped. “ah, Look Daddy, JESUS Lights” Not Christmas lights. Not pretty lights. But Jesus Lights.
She gets it! My little girl has got it! Although, after the Barn Service the other night, she is calling the baby doll wrapped in the towel, baby Jesus.
On Sunday, I heard a pastor say when dining at the table with another family, the blessing was asked. “Father in Heaven, we PAUSE to give you thanks.”
We PAUSE to give thanks. We need to STOP what we are doing. We need to pause, and take time for God, for CHRIST, to think about HIM and to thank HIM for the gift of salvation.
We need to remember that through all the glitz and glitter of the holiday.
The real reason and meaning of Christmas is that this Christ Child in the manger…God in flesh, Jesus, came to this earth. Born of a virgin, not born of man, but born of God…in a stable, where sheep are born…born as the LAMB OF GOD and laid in a manger, a feeding trough. Jesus, the BREAD OF LIFE, in a feeding trough.
Jesus, the son of God, who walked this earth, teaching us how to live and deal with each other. Teaching us about GOD the Father. How to live for Him.
Then this same baby, Jesus when he was grown, was put up on a cross, he was crucified, and carried upon himself the sins of the world, our sins, our suffering, our sickenesses. He sacrificed his own life in our place. He was the Lamb of GOD that would take away the sins of the whole world.
And when he died, he said, “it is finished”, He let out his last breath…he took the sin, sickness and sufferings of this world, and took them to the grave and buried them there.
When the stone was rolled away, he walked out that we would see that HE IS the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE after death. Whoever Believes in HIM will have Eternal Life.
And in that garden, he was seen in a new body, a resurrected body, though still recognizable to those around him. Then he ascended into heaven to God the Father. And one day he is coming back. He is coming back to rule and reign, to judge the whole earth. And those who have believed on him, and accepted his forgiveness, will live with him.
This Word, the bible, in the old testament, speaks of the coming Christ, centuries before his coming, and shows us the fulfillment of prophesy in Jesus come to save the world, in the new testament. This baby, This JESUS, the MESSIAH, THE SAVIOR. Prophesy fulfilled. God’s Promise, DONE. IT IS FINISHED!
* * * * *
From the LAB notes on Luke 2
And although our first impression of Jesus is as a baby in a manger, as in the nativity…it must not be our last.
This Christ Child in the manger makes a beautiful Christmas scene, but we can not leave him there.
This tiny helpless baby lived an amazing life, died for us, ascended to heaven, and will come back to this earth as King of Kings.
He will rule the world and judge all people according to their decisions about Him.
* * * * *
So, how about it?
Do you still picture Jesus as a baby in a manger? Or is He your LORD?
Make sure you don’t underestimate Jesus.
Let him grow up in your life.
All this, the real meaning of Christmas, is to make that choice, to make that decision. To take on this baby as your LORD and SAVIOR and REDEEMER and KING.
It’s not just a beautiful nativity arrangement, sitting on a table. Its about Life, and Forgiveness, and Victory, and Wholeness.
And Today is the Day to call upon HIM. To ask Him into your LIFE.
Don’t leave the baby in the manger. Get to know him and make HIM…LORD of your life.