Sermons

Summary: The Real Meaning of Christmas

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The Greatest Gift

Hebrews 11: 6c

Revelation 22: 12

·Prayer

·Acknowledgements

(God, Pastor, Associate Ministers, Wife, Congregation)

Scripture

Hebrews 11:6c

“But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Revelation 22:12

“And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Subject: THE GREATEST GIFT [repeat]

Question:

What was the most expensive gift you ever received for Christmas? Hum

What was the most expensive gift you ever gave?

Isn’t is strange -- how some people are willing to go into debt to buy gifts -- that they can’t even afford. They buy these gifts to give to people, mind you, that they really don’t like anyway.

Hum -- we will even go as far as to assign different values to the people in our gift giving. Now, I have to be honest, as for me -- my children receive the most valuable of my Christmas gifts and from there I use an imaginary sliding scale of lesser and lesser value. Some people, family member included would be fortunate to even get a Christmas card from me. Now -- I’m just keeping it real and being honest. Now I’m trying to figure out -- what formed this pattern of thinking and behavior?

The gifts -- The gifts the Magi lavished on Jesus reflected the value they placed on Him. You see -- they gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The value of gold is classic. It has always been the standard of commerce. It is the most valued of all metals. You see -- it was the best you could give anyone.

Frankincense was more of a symbolic gift. It was valuable, but more so by what it represented. You see -- it was used by people of the ancient near East as an aid to their praying. You see -- the incense was fragrant and spoke of the pleasant smell their prayers had in the nostrils of God. It rose as smoke upward into the air as did their prayers. Frankincense was a gift of prayer. It was a spiritual -- gift.

Myrrh was essentially medicinal oil [which means that it had properties relating to medicine]. The Magi gave this valuable oil to the baby Jesus as a visible affirmation of prophecy found in Isaiah Chapter 60. They knew the Jewish prophets of the captivity said this child king would be for the healing of the nations. You see -- Myrrh stood for what His life would produce.

So let us take another look at our text.

Hebrews 11:6c

“... and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Revelation 22:12

“And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

I know, I know -- Hebrews and Revelation seems -- a strange place from which to preach a Christmas message. Well -- if you are a Traditionalist you may already be frowning in your spirit at our audacity to overlook the story of the host of heavenly angels and startled shepherds, the story of Mary and Joseph, and the wise men. I will tell you from the outset -- you will hear no traditional Christmas sermon this year. There will be no Bethlehem manger; the definitions mentioned earlier will be the only references to gold, frankincense and myrrh. There will be no stories of a compassionate innkeeper. In fact, there will be no sign of the old traditional Christmas. We’re going to leave tradition -- this morning in an effort to discover the real meaning of Christmas and to discover the Greatest Gift of All.


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