Summary: There are many things that make Christmas beautiful. Here are three that make it beautiful for me.
The Beauty of Christmas
December 18, 2016
TEXT: Matthew 1:18-2:2 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
ILLUS. – Guess what—There really is a Scrooge! Listen to this from a newspaper article a few years ago:
Yes, Virginia, there is a Scrooge. His name is John Denny and he lives in the house with “Scrooge lives here” spelled out in white lights on the roof.
“Christmas come and Christmas goes,” said Denny, of Sauk Rapids, Minn. “I don’t see why we all go crazy for it. For me, the post-Christmas letdown starts with the first Visa bill, and that come about the end of November.”
Last year, he gave his wife, Sandy, coal for Christmas. His children, Chrissy and Rob, call him Scrooge. So this year he gave himself the name by putting the sign on the roof.The Scrooge business really got its roots three years ago when Denney looked at the many houses around his and noticed they were all ablaze with decorative lights during the holiday season.
He wanted to be different, so he put up a sign that said, “Bah, humbug.”; the next year the sign said, “Go Grinch.” This year, Denney wanted to put up a sign saying “Scrooge, let Timmy die,” but his family thought that was going too far. “They wouldn’t let me do it,” he said. (Source: December 12, 1993, Stars and Stripes.)
Well, few people, with the possible exception of Scrooge, or the Grinch who stole Christmas, could dislike Christmas! Now some things, like drunkenness, and the rampant materialism that’s associated with Christmas—those things I do not like.
But I thoroughly enjoy most everything else of the festivities and activities of Christmas. I love…the lights, the special music, the holiday food, Christmas trees and decorations, the fun and games, the gift giving and receiving, the football games, and the special times with family and friends.
Most of all, I enjoy celebrating the birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ—my closest friend of all. Christmas is truly a beautiful time of celebration if Christ is kept first.
Central to the beauty of the Christmas season are three things found in the Gospel accounts of the Christmas story, which I would like us to consider today.
I. FIRST IS THE STAR OF CHRISTMAS – Matthew 2:1-2 – “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
Illus. – When I think about the star of Christmas, I’m reminded of the story of the children in a Christmas pla Each child was given a placard with a large letter of the alphabet printed on it. Here was the plan: they were all supposed to stand in a certain order to spell out the words B–E–T–H–L–E–H–E–M S–T–A–R. However, the star section got their letters out or order, and the result was that they spelled out B–E–T–H–L–E–H–E–M R–A–T–S!
The Bible tells us that the wise men saw a unique star in the east and followed it to the place where Jesus lay. But these wise men were very discerning men. They apparently knew that this star represented the long-awaited Messiah. They asked, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”