Summary: In this message we will look at the gift of joy and how to keep joy in our Christmas (The Gifts of Christmas part 1 of 4)

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“The Gift Of Joy”

The Gifts Of Christmas – part one

SHOW – The Grinch Video Clip….(when he thinks they will be sad on mountain about to push over toys – new Grinch)

“maybe Christmas means more…”

As your pastor – I felt the need as Christmas 2001 shifts into high gear – to talk about, to remind you, to remind me, to remind us, of what the true meaning of Christmas really is. Now I don’t really expect to tell anything you don’t already know… I’m just trying to do what Peter did in his second letter;

“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them…I think it is right to refresh your memory…” 2 Peter 1:12,13

This morning, we kick off a 4 week sermon series, I’m calling, ‘The Gifts Of Christmas,’ During the next 4 weeks, we will talk about the gift of significance, the gift of joy, the gift of Christ, and the gift of seeing Him.

TODAY – I want to begin with the gift of joy… AND I want to talk about joy for 2 reasons. #1; because it is most definitely one of the gifts of Christmas… Luke records the following words in the second chapter of his gospel;

Luke 2:8-11

“I bring you good news of GREAT joy…” CIRCLE – “great joy….”

Now, the word ‘great’ is the Greek word ‘megas’ it’s where we get our English word mega. I like that… LISTEN – the good news the angels proclaimed was not just the good news of ‘joy’ – NO it was the good news of MEGA joy… Mega joy for all people, mega joy for me, mega joy for you…

The second reason I want to talk about joy, as we begin this series, is because for many – Christmas is NOT a joyful time…

SURE – we sing, “Joy to the world the Lord is come” “O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant” “repeat the sounding joy” and “Tis the season to be jolly” - BUT joy – real joy seems to elude so many. BUT I am sure that is not news to you – hey we have all heard the statistics (maybe we’ve been part of them, a time or 2) statistics, of how the Christmas season is a time a great depression for so many, statistics of how the suicide rate goes up this time of year…

AND LISTEN – it’s not only those out in the world who feel this way, I’ve seen people, even people who belong to Christ – people who attend church, people who sing songs of praise - go around this time of year looking like the Grinch and sounding like the scrooge… They are; stressed out, worn out, burnt out and joyed out…

UNDERSTAND - it is my desire this morning to take preventive action, LISTEN – I want this Christmas, I want Christmas 2001 to be the most joyful Christmas that any of us has ever had… This past Thursday night during our Z 46 prayer time, a group of prayer warriors gathered in a candlelight room down the hall, we sang some songs and we prayed that Christmas 2001 will be an incredible, exciting, Christ-centered, joy filled time for the people of Central.

Today I want to give you 6 things that will without a doubt keep ‘mega’ joy in your Christmas – and to help us remember what these six things are, I have come up with and acrostic of the word – GRINCH.

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