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Summary: THE DEPTH OF THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IS BEING LOST, AS THE SPIRITUAL AWARENESS OF THE WORLD LESSENS. CHRISTMAS IS NO LONGER BEING CELEBRATED AS THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. THE RESULT IS A LOSS OF HOPE FOR THE WORLD AND THE CHURCH.

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THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS

AS I WAS PREPARING FOR MY MESSAGE TODAY I CAME ACROSS THIS STATEMENT.

“AS A WHOLE, PEOPLE LOOK FORWARD TO CHRISTMAS WITH MORE ANTICIPATION THAN ANY OTHER SEASON OF THE YEAR.”

COMMERCIAL INTERESTS CERTAINLY ANTICIPATE THE COMING CHRISTMAS SEASON. THEY GEAR THEIR ADVERTISING TOWARDS MAKING THEIR PRODUCT THE “PERFECT” CHRISTMAS GIFT. PREPARATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS NOW BEGIN IN OCTOBER. I REMEMBER GOING THROUGH ONE STORE AND SEEING HALLOWEEN COSTUMES ON ONE SIDE OF THE AISLE AND CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS ON THE OTHER SIDE.

CHRISTMAS MOVIES HAVE BEEN PLAYING ON TELEVISION SINCE NOV. 01, AND FROM DEC.01 ON WE CAN SEE ALL KINDS OF CHRISTMAS SHOWS AND TELETHONS, ALL LEADING UP TO THAT BIG DAY.

THERE ARE TWO THINGS THAT I AM INCREASINGLY AWARE OF AS THE BIG DAY APPROACHES.

FIRST, ALTHOUGH CHRISTMAS IS ANTICIPATED, IT CAN BE ANTICIPATED FOR POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE REASONS. CHRISTMAS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE FOR ME. MY PARENTS AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY TO MAKE SURE THERE WERE GIFTS UNDER THE TREE, THAT A GREAT MEAL WAS PREPARED, AND THAT WE ENJOYED CHRISTMAS.

I KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR EVERYONE WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE TODAY. THERE ARE SOME WHO DO NOT LOOK FORWARD TO CHRISTMAS AT ALL FOR IT ONLY BRINGS DISAPPOINTMENT AND HEARTACHE. THERE ARE NO GIFTS. THERE IS NO FOOD. THERE IS ONLY THE POSSIBILITY OF PHYSICAL ABUSE, AND FIGHTING CAUSED BY THE ALCOHOL THAT WAS BOUGHT INSTEAD OF GIFTS AND FOOD FOR THEIR FAMILY. CHRISTMAS FOR THESE FAMILIES IS NOT JUST ANOTHER DAY, IT IS FAR WORSE THAN THAT.

THE SECOND IS THAT THE DEPTH OF THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IS BEING LOST, AS THE SPIRITUAL AWARENESS OF THE WORLD LESSENS. CHRISTMAS IS NO LONGER BEING CELEBRATED AS THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. THE RESULT OF THIS IS THAT THE HOPE THAT CHRIST’S BIRTH CAN BRING, THE ENCOURAGEMENT, AND PEACE, IS SOUGHT FOR IN OTHER THINGS.

SOME SEEK IT IN THE DECORATIONS OF CHRISTMAS. I WAS WATCHING AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR A PROGRAM ON LIGHTS AND ONE MAN SAID, “IF IT CAN’T BE SEEN FROM SPACE, IT AIN’T WORTH DOING.” OTHER PLACES ORGANIZE TOURS AND COMPETITIONS FOR THE BEST DECORATED HOUSES. WE HAVE PLACED OUR FAITH IN THE GIFT, THE TREE, THE MUSIC, EVEN THE FOOD, TO PROVIDE US WITH THE PEACE THAT ONLY FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST CAN BRING.

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, AND CHRISTMAS IS A THING OF THE PAST FOR THIS YEAR, THE EMPTINESS STILL REMAINS. PEACE ON EARTH LASTS ONLY FOR A SHORT TIME AS CHRISTMAS LACKS ANY REAL DEPTH APART FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

IT IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT PUTS MEANING IN CHRISTMAS, BUT WHO IS HE, AND WHY IS HE SO IMPORTANT. TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE THE QUESTION “WHO IS THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS?” THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION CAN HELP US TRANSFORM HOW WE ANTICIPATE CHRISTMAS TO ALWAYS BEING SPECIAL AND POSITIIVE WHEN WE LEARN HOW MUCH HE LOVES US.

POINT ONE: WHAT MAKES THE BIRTH OF CHRIST SO SPECIAL?

THIS IS THE QUESTION OF THE AGES. WHAT MAKES THE BIRTH OF JESUS WHO IS CALLED THE “CHRIST” SO DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER BABY BORN THROUGHOUT HISTORY. THIS IS INDEED THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENT TO UNDERSTANDING CHRISTIANITY.

THE SUPERNATURAL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED TO THE BIRTH OF THE “CHRISTCHILD” IN BETHLEHEM LEAVE NO MISTAKE THAT THIS IS GOD COMING TO EARTH. I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU FIVE WAYS BY WHICH THIS IS SHOWN TO US:

FIRST: IN CHRIST’S BIRTH ONE CAN SEE THE POWER OF GOD TO RISE ABOVE THE NATURAL AND MANIFEST HIMSELF IN A MIRACULOUS WAY:

IF I WERE TO ASK YOU TO THINK OF SOME OF THE GREATEST MIRACLES OF ALL TIME, WOULD ONE OF THEM BE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST? I TELL YOU NOW, THAT IF IT ISN’T IT SHOULD BE.

HUNDREDS OF PROPHECIES PROCLAIMED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WERE FULFILLED IN THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. SOME WERE VERY VAGUE AND GENERAL, AND OTHERS MORE ABOUT THE MISSION THAN THE MAN.

LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF PROPHECY’S, ALL POINTING TO THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH AND HIS MISSION, WERE FULFILLED IN CHRIST. PROPHECIES DEALING WITH THE LOCATION OF THE BIRTH, RIGHT DOWN TO THEM LEAVING FOR EGYPT, THEY WERE ALL FULFILLED IN THE PERSON OF THE CHRISTCHILD.

DR. LUKE WAS SO CONVINCED OF THE BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH, THAT NOWHERE IN HIS DISCRIPTION OF THE BIRTH OF “CHRIST”, IN LUKE CHAPTER TWO, DOES HE EVER USE THE NAME JESUS. HE REFERS TO “THE BABE” A NUMBER OF TIMES, AND THE NAME THAT HE USES “CHRIST” DENOTES HIS TITLE MORE THAN HIS NAME.

RIGHT AWAY LUKE WANTS US TO REALIZE THAT THIS BIRTH WAS DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER. SO THAT THE CHRIST COULD BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD, HIS ENTRANCE INTO THIS WORLD HAD TO BE SUPERNATURAL FROM CONCEPTION AND EXTEND RIGHT THROUGH TO ASCENSION.

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