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Summary: Regardless of your circumstances, if you have Jesus Christ who is the joy of Christmas then everything will be alright.

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Sunday Morning, December 19th, 2004

Let us pray

Welcome.......

My family and I want to wish all of you a very blessed Christmas, and trust you all will

have the joy of Christmas, and a wonderful New Year.

In six more days it will be Christmas day, and by now you all should have finished your

Christmas shopping. Do you re-mem-ber as a child how Christmas would take so long to

come? but as you get older and older, Christmas comes around so quickly, and we say to

ourselves, my how time flies.

On the first Sunday of Advent which was on November 28th we used as our Topic, The

Eternal Word, and we said the Word was in the beginning; the Word was made flesh,

and the Word dwelt among man, and Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word. On the second

Sunday of Advent which was December 5th, we took a detour, and used as our topic,

Whose report will you believe? and we were encouraged to believe God’s report. Last

Sunday which was the third Sunday of Advent our topic was The Gift of Christmas, and

we concluded that Jesus is the Gift of Christmas.

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent and our topic today will be, The Joy of Christmas.

Please turn with me to page 5 of your bulletines or in your bibles to Luke 2 verses 8

through 14, and let’s all stand and read together. Please tell someone, joy can be yours.

Today we are planning to have a Christmas Celebration Dinner and Re-cog-ni-tion in

our Fellowship Hall. Maybe you are excited about this; maybe you are happy, but after

the celebration will you still have joy? The word happiness and the word joy are both

nouns, and many times are used in the same way, but I believe there is a difference. I

believe happiness is based upon circumstances, but you can have joy despite the

circumstances. If I had a $1,000, and gave it to you, it is quite possible you would be

happy, but after you have spent that $1,000 on your Christmas shopping, would you still

have joy? If you have Christ, then you have joy, because Jesus Christ is the joy of

Christmas.

As a young boy growing up in Jamaica, we were not allowed to read comic books,

because we were told it was wrong to do. I am not quite sure about reading cartoons, that

might have been alright. Most of you I am sure have heard about Charlie Brown and his

freind Linus. I would like to quote an article that I read on Charlie Brown. "Charlie

Brown’s Christmas had gotten off to a bad start. He’d been told to pick out the best

Christmas tree he could find. Instead he managed to find the scrawniest tree imaginable.

His friends were furious and left him standing alone with his pathetic little tree. While

standing there he asked, "Isn’t there anybody who can tell me the true meaning of

Christmas?

At that moment his friend Linus said, "I’ll tell you the meaning of Christmas, Charlie

Brwon." And with that Linus began reciting from Luke 2 where the angel says to the

shepherds, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy..."

This is good news for you, good news for me, good news for all people regardless of our

circumstances! No matter how scrawny our tree, no matter what has been happening in

our lives, in spite of that empty place, that incurable disease, that broken re-la-tion-ship,

here’s the good news: Jesus Christ the Savior, has been born! The Lord of heaven and

earth has come into our lives, our misery, and our suffering to offer hope. God offers the

hope of forgiveness and a blessed new beginning because of Jesus’ presence.

On this fourth Sunday of Advent don’t focus on what’s meager or what you think isn’t

good enough in life; listen closely to the Savior who wants to be in your life.

I do trust that you have learned that you can’t please every-body, and that you can’t make

every-body happy, but if you have God in your life, you can have joy. Maybe there are

certain things you don’t have, not much money; no fancy car, no designer clothes, but you

can still have joy. Maybe over the past few weeks you might have received some bad

news, but even in this, you can still have joy. Your joy is not dependent upon your

circumstances, because if you have the joy of Christmas, Jesus Christ, then you are

alright. In James 1 verses 2 and 3 we read these words, My brethren, count it all joy

when ye fall into divers temptations. Knowing this that the trying of your faith

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