Summary: It seems that somehow we have lost the focus as to whose birthday we are celebrating, and it seems the focus of Christmas has been lost in the giving and receiving of gifts.

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Sunday Morning, December 12th, 2004

Let us pray.


Each day we are drawing closer home. Last Tuesday night one of our church sisters from

Cleveland passed away, and on Thursday night another sister who had moved to Atlanta

passed away. We just don’t know when it will be our time...................elaborate......

Last Sunday we took a detour and we talked about whose report will you believe? but

today we will get back to the Christmas message. If you are counting, in 13 more days it

wlll be Christmas day. For some people Christmas is a one day affair. They spend time

shopping with money they can’t afford. They spend time wrapping gifts to give to others,

and sometimes to people they don’t like; and then at midnight December 25th, it is all

over. Christmas should not be a one day affair, but it should be a all year celebration for

the Savior who has come.

What would you do if one day you came to realize that all your dreams were shattered?

All the plans that you had made in life seems to have gone up in smoke. How do you feel

towards Joseph and his broken dreams? Let me share with you an article I recently read.

"Like other engaged couples, Joseph and Mary had dreams of being married and of

raising a family together.

The dream lasted until the day Mary told Joseph that she was going to have a baby who

had been conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was sure she had been unfaithful. His

dream of spending life with the person he loved was gone.

It took a special message from an angel to convince Joseph that Mary’s child was going to

be special. The only way to make sense out of his broken dreams was to accept God’s will

for his life, to believe what the angel said, and to do exactly as the angel told him. Only

then could Joseph be a part of God’s plan of salvation for this world.

Broken dreams are part of many people’s lives: an empty place in our homes, caused by

death or divorce; a relationship broken because of unfaithfulness; a business venture that

has gone wrong; a terminal disease; a child who has walked away from the Lord.

The only way to go on despite our broken dreams is turn to the Savior, who came because

of broken dreams. The only way to celebrate Christmas is to ask the Savior to enter our

lives and heal our brokenness."

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, and there are many lives that are broken that needs

to be repaired. If your life is broken; if your dreams has been shattered, Jesus Christ the

one whose birthday we celebrate is here to help you.

As the year quickly comes to an end, let’s remind ourselves once again of our theme for

the year, which is, Glorifying God; which means, that in everything we do, and

everything we say should be done to glorify God. As a child of God, How well are you

glorifying God? Can others know that you are truly who you say you are by the way you

live? Our key verse is taken from Matthew 5 verse 16, which says, Let your light so


Our to-pic for today will be, "The Gift of Christmas." Please turn with me in your

Bibles to Ephesians 2 verses 4 through 10 or to page 5 of your bulletins. Let’s all stand

and read together. Please tell someone, I am looking for my gift.

Are you expecting someone to buy you a gift, or are you searching to buy yourself a gift?

Last year, I went to the Burlingon store close to where I live, and I bought myself a gift. I

wrapperd it; wrote my name on it, and placed it under the Christmas tree. If no one else

gave me a gift, I had my gift, and it was from myself.

It seems somehow we have lost the focus as to whose birthday we are cel-e-bra-ting. It

seems the focus of Christmas has been lost amongst gifts. ’The joy of the season has

become the joy of giving and receiving gifts." A wife may ask her husband, what are you

getting me for Christmas? or the husband might ask his wife what are you getting me for

Christmas? If you have children, they will make a list as to what they want for Christmas.

There is nothing wrong in giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas time. It’s alright to

look for a gift, and give a gift at Christmas time, but please note very carefully, "It does

not matter how many toys you pass out at the orphanage, or nursing home, without the

true meaning of Christmas it is all in vain."

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