Summary: PEOPLE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT GETTING INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. THIS MESSSAGE IS ABOUT LETTING THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS GET INTO YOU.
REFLECTIONS FROM THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
I. THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
A. "Celebrate the spirit of Christmas" (words on a T-shirt). At this time of year you hear many people talking about getting into the Christmas spirit. What is the Christmas spirit? Can I even speak of the true spirit of Christmas without becoming politcally incorrect? Oh, Ba Humbug on political correctness!
B. The spirit of Christmas means different things to different people
-another holiday, time off from work, family reunion, giving and sharing, etc
C. The Christmas season has a deep, spiritual meaning that can serve as a source of renewal of our own faith and spiritual life
D. As we look at the events that surround the birth of Jesus there are a variety of attitudes and emotions that are displayed. These reflect the spirit of Christmas.
E. Reflecting upon the spirit of Christmas can help us find spiritual renewal all year through
II. A NEW MESSAGE OF HOPE
A. We live in a society that is dispairing of hope
B. We have seen all of man’s ideas fall short
C. For many, Christmas is the most depressing time of year - more suicides than any other time of year.
D. The angels announced a new message of hope to the shepherds - Lk 2:10-14
-good news for all people
-a savior - not a dictator, political leader, great prophet
-peace - man’s greatest quest is for true peace
-good will - satisfaction, delight, a kind wish or purpose, good pleasure, an easily-produced longing for it
-many people have lost the desire for good will - sinners and christians
E. There is a message of hope today that is older than the earth and yet new each time it is heard
-the message is as real today as it was 2,000 years ago
-Jesus Christ is the only source of hope we have
-in Jesus is there is good news, salvation, peace and good will
F. The spirit of Christmas is a spirit of hope
III. A NEW LIFE
A. The message was announced by angels that a child had been born
B. This was no ordinary child, Jesus was different, not from earth but from heaven
-in Star Trek the brave explorers go boldly where no one has gone before to seek out new life
-UFO enthusiasts anticipate the coming of a superior life form to this earth
C. A new life, a superior life came to this earth 2,000 years ago
-John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
-John 17:14,16 I am not of the world.
-John 18:36 My kingdom is not of this world:
-Phil 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
D. People do a lot of crazy things in the hope of finding a new quality of living
-a new career, a new location, a new spouse, a new name, a new physical appearance, new friends
-the same old problems still follow them
E. Only in Jesus Christ can we find a new life
-Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
-2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
F. The spirit of Christmas is a spirit of new life for all that will receive
A. A favorite Christmas song - "Joy to the World"
B. The birth of Jesus did not bring joy to everyone
-Matt 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
C. Jesus brought Joy to those who understood scripture and loved God
-Matt 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
D. Jesus is the source of joy today - for the sinner, backslider, christian
-John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full
-Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
-Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy,...