Summary: Today we need to see Jesus in our Christmas traditions because the season points to His great gift of eternal life to us.
Christmas Eve Service
“See Jesus in your Christmas Traditions!”
Thesis: Today we need to see Jesus in our Christmas traditions because the season points to His great gift of eternal life to us.
Quotes: Christmas is the harvest time of love. Souls are drawn to other souls. All that we have read and thought and hoped comes to fruition at this happy time. Our spirits are astir. We feel within us a strong desire to serve. A strange, subtle force, a new kindness animates man and child. A new spirit is growing in us. No longer are we content to relieve pain, to sweeten sorrow, to give the crust of charity. We dare to give friendship, service, the equal loaf of bread and love…Helen Keller (1880-1968)
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together…Garrison Keillor
Logically, Christmas is a politically incorrect festival that causes embarrassment to those Americans who are not Christian (though not to Islamic shoppers because for them Jesus is the greatest of the prophets before Muhammad and his birthday deserves to be celebrated). But Christmas is an intricate element in American culture and cannot be extirpated. …Andrew Greeley, “Let’s Give the Holidays back to the Pagans,” Chicago-Sun Times, 13 Dec 2005
Text: John 3:16-21:
16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
This section of Scripture tells us why God the Father sent Jesus to the world over 2,000 years ago into that manger in Bethlehem. It was an act of love so that mankind could be saved and delivered from the power and the destruction of evil. God opened up his heart and sent Jesus the Light of the World to a barn, a stinky gross place to be born so that you and I could be saved from our sins.
We have seen from our video clips tonight that Mary was the chosen vessel to give birth to our Savior and we have seen what she had to endure as a result of this gift from Heaven, yet she praised God even in the midst of the hardship. She felt blessed by God for being chosen by Him to be a part of His plan for the 1st Christmas. She endured hardship, pain, rejections and a difficult birthing experience. But to her it was worth it! Jesus was born to set in motion the salvation of the world. She magnified the Lord! She fulfilled her divine mission and she is honored in Heaven for doing it faithfully. She herself saw the light of the world and believed! She caught a divine vision of Jesus!
I stand here before you tonight on Christmas Eve and I am compelled to ask a couple of questions:
Do you see Jesus in your Christmas traditions?
Do you see Him in your life working?
Do you love Him?
Do you believe in Him and His miraculous birth?
Are you promoting Him this Christmas Eve in your celebrations?
Do you want to see His divine light tonight?
Our Scripture text tells us that “yes” there will be those who will try to fight against the light of the world and will try to remove Him from Christmas! They have been doing this since the first Christmas. King Herod tried and failed and so will the rest! Why, do they do this? Because they are evil and they hate what the light represents. They fight against Jesus this time of the year because they do not want to be reminded that they are living for evil not for good. They want to remove any reference of Jesus from Christmas to hide their sinful lifestyles and sooth their consciences. They think if they get rid of the baby Jesus and any reference to His mission then they will not feel so guilty. But the only way to be delivered from sin is to ask Christ into our hearts. But many will continue to fight against Jesus and any reference to Him. But hear me Christian – “God is going to win this spiritual war.” It is important to see Jesus birth and his great gift of the light. When we allow the light of Christ to invade our hearts we will see and understand things that we never saw before. We will see that we are where we are because of Jesus not because of our own effort or gifts. So we need to see Jesus in the Christmas celebrations to be reminded of His great gift to us.