Summary: Christmas Carol Service 2014 - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com
• Probably the most used word at Christmas is the word gift;
• And for many people what they ‘get’ at Christmas – makes it or breaks it!
“December is the only month of the year when everyone forgets about the past, forgets about the future, and focuses on the PRESENT!”
• Kids have a hard time waiting for Christmas.
• They are of course excited about all the gifts they are hoping to get;
• i.e. When our kids were younger I remember them going through the Argos catalogue;
• And circling all the gifts they would like!
Here are some actual letters that were written by kids to Santa:
• “Dear Santa Claus,
• When you come to my house there will be cookies for you.
• But if you are real hungry you can use our phone and order a pizza to go.”
• “Dear Santa, (From a 4-year-old) I
• I’ll take anything because I haven’t been that good.”
• “Dear Santa,
• If you bring presses with batteries, please bring batteries!”
• “Dear Santa,
• I’m not going to ask for a lot. Here’s my list:
• The Etch-A-Sketch animator, 2 packs of #2 pencils,
• Crayon fat markers and the big gift...my own colour TV!
• If you want, you could drop the pencils; I don’t want to be really selfish.”
• Perfect gift for my wife Penny:
• Youtube clip: http://youtu.be/kZVFw52DGto
• (Just what every woman about town needs - a 4WD that will fold up to handbag size).
• TRANSITION: One gift we all could do with this Christmas is peace;
• But peace is so often missing at Christmas.
• If you go into town, well first you have to battle the long traffic jams;
• Then you have to battle with hectic shoppers rushing here and there,
• And then you experience those long queues at the tills.
• For many getting those you love a present is anything but a peaceful experience!
• If you have beaten the madness of shopping by doing all your shopping inline;
• Many homes still experience a stresses out time on Christmas Day;
• The hard work of preparing and serving Christmas dinner;
• Enjoying or enduring a houseful of family or visitors;
• Can take its toll on many people!
• TRANSITION: It often appears that the word peace at Christmas;
• Is only used in in songs, TV programmes and movies,
• But seldom in real life!
• There is a story of a man who lived in the state of Arizona in the U.S.A.
• He received some tragic news that his family had been killed in a car accident.
• It was a tragic situation.
• And you can imagine the turmoil going through his mind.
• He was alone for his first Christmas and he was very depressed.
• So he decided he would go out for a hike in the nearby Grand Canyon.
• He was hoping the exercise, the fresh air and the beauty of the Grand Canyon;
• Would take his mind away from the pain and anxiety he was experiencing.
• At one point in his journey the man looked up to heaven;
• And in his frustration and bitterness, he shouted mockingly into the sky:
• “Glory to God in the highest”;
• And the canyon echoed back... “ HIGHEST highest. highest…”
• He shouted a second time; “And on earth, PEACE”
• Again the canyon echoed back… “... Peace...peace...peace…”
• The young man sat down and cried, for him there was no peace,
• His peace was like the echo that began to fade and fade and fade far away;
• Until you could hear it no more.
• The word “peace” appears over 400 times in the Bible;
• And this “peace” is not reserved for Christmas time,
• It is a quality, a characteristic that God wants all his people to consistently experience.
• But the ‘peace of God’ is very different to the ‘peace of human beings’,
• I guess the 1914-2014 one hundred year anniversary is a good reminder of that!
• 65 million men fought in WW1;
• Half of them never came home!
• A few minutes ago we sang an extra verse to the traditional carol silent night;
• It was commissioned to mark the centenary of the 1914 truce.
• But someone else peened a rather different verse;
• I don’t think many folks will be singing this verse this Christmas.
“Silent night, holy night,
a bursting bomb, a flash of light,
a thousand whirring airplanes roar,
dropping their gifts, their gifts of war,
and all is calm and all is bright