Summary: We as a nation, and as a world have increasingly tried to cut religion completely out of CHRISTmas.

The First Christmas

Luke 2: 1-14

Luke 2

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Let’s go to the Lord in Prayer!

As I was looking on the internet for sermon ideas and illustrations last night I noticed that over the last several years the sermons have became more and more concerned with the commercialism of Christmas. I think this is one of the things that prompted some body to coin a phrase that we have all become familiar with today.

This phrase is “Remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season!”

We as a nation, and as a world have increasingly tried to cut religion completely out of CHRISTmas. It makes me think of a cartoon I saw.

It showed two homes decorated for Christmas. One had lights everywhere. There was a plastic snowman in the yard, a Santa on the roof, and a flashing sign in the front yard that said, “Merry Xmas!” It would have made Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, from Home Improvement, proud. The other home had only a simple manger scene in the yard. The couple from the first house was looking out their window at the manger scene in their neighbor’s yard and said: “Some people have to put religion into everything.”

Rodney Buchanan of the Mulberry St. United Methodist Church in Mt. Vernon Ohio wrote the following in his sermon “Christmas Through The Eyes of The World” wrote “In a culture which is increasingly secularized, there are many people who have no clue about what it all means. A friend of mine gave a Bible to someone who was going through a difficult time. The person was in real need, and their life had been one disaster after the other, but in all that time there was never any concrete attempt to give their life to God and follow him. As my friend gave a Bible to this person, and encouraged him to read it, he suggested that he might start by reading the Christmas story, since it was that time of year. The man looked at him with real surprise and said: “You mean the Christmas story is in the Bible?” For those of us who know what the Christmas story is and have read and heard the Christmas story many times from Scripture, it seems incredible that someone would not know something that basic. But there is a growing ignorance of spiritual things in our land as we attempt to separate our lives from the any contact with, or reference to, God.”

We find many people who do not know the story of the first Christmas.

We find that things have changed over the years. When I was in school all of us called the time we got off from school in December “Christmas Holidays” and it was on the school calendars that way. But today most if not all schools put it on their calendars as “Winter Holidays” as they don’t want to be associating anything with religion. I find it strange that here in America, a country that was founded on the words “IN GOD WE TRUST”, we find ourselves being pushed away from religion more and more everyday.

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