Summary: The Good News, Surrender, Unity, Spiritual Birth
THE REAL CHRISTMAS STORY - The Day After Christmas
John 3:1-21 (p. 740) December 24 & 25, 2016
We were sitting in our staff meeting last year and Tony asked “What day is Christmas on this year?” And I laughed and said, “Tony, Christmas is always on December 25.” It’s now become a joke we kid with each other about as we plan for special Christmas services. I know Tony meant is Christmas on “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday this year, but giving each other a hard time is part of the fun of staff meetings…at least for me.
This year Christmas Day falls on a Sunday…It happens once every 7 years or so, but I love it, even if it makes it a little more difficult for scheduling, because it helps us as Christians remember what the world seems to forget…Christmas is about Christ.
A lady named Lynn Casagrande wrote this poem…
'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the town
The ones who weren't Christians were feeling let down
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney anymore,
And boxes and wrapping covered the floor.
The kitchen was covered from floor to ceiling
With enough dirty dishes to set Mother reeling
The children were whining over what they didn't get
And rather than sharing, they were throwing a fit!
The malls were bustling with post Christmas shoppers
Searching for bargains on racks and in hoppers.
The salesmen looked haggard, the shoppers looked worse
As credit cards flew out of wallet and purse.
There were no joyful sounds of carolers singing,
And the only bells heard, were registers ringing.
The scene was altogether too grim,
For all the people who didn't know Him.
If only this unhappy crowd could know
That the Spirit of Christmas isn't tied with a bow
And stacked in piles underneath the tree,
He lives forever in you and in me.
He didn't start in presents piled up in a sleigh,
He started with Christ being born in the hay.
The perfect gift from our Father above
Sent to us sinners to show us His love.
He came without wrapping or boxes or strings,
No glitter or glamour or other vain things.
He came with a promise of hope for all men,
That even in death, we'd have life again.
The next face you encounter covered with strife,
Introduce them to Jesus and change their whole life.
Teach them that Christmas is a daily thing,
That comes from intimately knowing the King.
You see the real story of Christmas and Christ…is it’s not a once a year celebration or even once a week on Sundays…It’s a daily thing that comes from intimately knowing the King.
On that original Christmas Day over 2,000 years ago, most of the world had no idea God’s greatest present had been delivered, wrapped in swaddling clothes and had been laid in a manger. The shepherds knew…it was an experience they would never forget.
Dr. Luke says this about the shepherds:
LUKE 2:16-20 (p. 716)
The Day after Christmas for Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds was a day to ponder, to wonder, to be amazed at what God was doing…and they glorified God with their testimony. I still believe this is an excellent way to spend the day after Christmas…and in fact, every day! It’s a lot more exciting than worrying about gift returns and taking down decorations.
What does Jesus’ birth mean for me and the whole world in the days that lay ahead? Mary’s little lamb was born so that we might have the opportunity to be born again.
MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB
Mary had a little Lamb,
He was born on Christmas day.
She laid him in a manger bed
To Sleep upon the hay.
Angels filled the night-time sky
And they began to sing.
Shepherds heard them all proclaim
The birthday of a King.
Wise men saw a blazing star
Up in the sky that night.
They followed it until they found
The King of love and light.
Mary had a little Lamb,
But He wasn't hers, you know,
He was the very Son of God,
The One who loves us so.
The Father of this little Lamb
Loved the world so much
That He sent his only Son to earth
So we could feel His touch.
He came to give us joy and peace
And take away our sin.
So when He knocks on your heart's door,
Be sure to let Him in.
Why do I love this precious Lamb?
What can the reason be?
The answer is quite plain to see,
It's because He first loved me!
When Mary, as a virgin asked the angel…“How can I be with child since I’m a virgin?” The response was amazing…“The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Lk. 1:35)