Summary: Worry is a big problem, especially at Christmas time. We shouldn’t be chasing after and worrying about things that non-Christian people chase! The sins of worry and fretting over things might be acceptable sins to people, but they aren’t to God! Worry is

You might be wondering why I am starting a Christmas series even before Thanksgiving. Well, the stores start Christmas now, so I figure if you can’t beat em, join em!

That is only partially true. One reason I am starting it now is that I am going to be on vacation next week. But another reason, and a more important reason, is that we need to think of some things before we get into Christmas.

So it may seem odd, but I want you to go to December 26, or whenever Christmas ends for you. How do you want to feel when it is all over? What do you want to remember? What do you want to be able to reflect upon?

Better yet, go back to that day last year. What did you feel? What did you think? I think many Americans, by the time they get to December 26th are glad that it is over. Are you one of them? If you are glad when it is over, then you are not making the right memories. You are not close enough to the one that it is all about.

So maybe this year you need to work on simplifying, making it a more restful holiday. Maybe this year you need to grant the wish that you had at the end last year and make it a simpler holiday!

Think back even further to the best Christmases that you had. Now you might remember the one where you got the car or the trip. You might remember those really big gifts. But my guess is that most of your best memories have to do with the people that you spent them with.

For me, I remember going to my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve. She is the aunt that was here for Spencer’s graduation. She lived out in the country on a farm in the house that my dad grew up in. We would go there, exchange some gifts, and my mom and dad would play games with my aunt and uncle. Not surprisingly, it was always late when we left. I can remember lying in the back window … and I lived to tell about it! Don’t tell anyone, they might take in my mom and dad for child endangerment! But anyway, I can remember lying there and looking up at the stars. I was searching the sky to see if I could see Santa’s sleigh.

I never made it all the way home. I was asleep and got carried into the house. But that is a great memory. It has nothing to do with what I received. It is about who I was with and what I was doing.

My guess is that if we got the kids up here, they might tell about a great gift. Well, probably not, because even they have forgotten it by now. But if we had adults up here, they would tell similar stories to the one that I just told.

And I would also guess that many of you have felt overwhelmed at Christmas. Maybe this year is the time to change that.

If you are living the way you should as a Christian, you are trying to be more and more like Jesus. Well, maybe we should apply that some thought to the way we treat Christmas. We should live it the way God did.

God skipped excess and used what He had. Think about it.

He didn’t send Jesus into the womb of a queen, but into the womb of a peasant girl. His father would not be a king, or a wise man, or a scholar, but a simple carpenter.

I would like for you to turn with me to Matthew 6. It is on page 961 of the Bible in front of you. It is also a part of the Sermon on the Mount that we have been looking at lately. Jesus gives us some solid teaching that applies year round, but especially at Christmas time. Here is what he says:

Matthew 6:25-33

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? [26] Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? [27] Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

[28] "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. [29] Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. [30] If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ [32] For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. [33] But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

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