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Summary: What if you missed the lights of Christmas? What would you miss? You would miss Jesus!

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Christmas Eve Service: The lights of Christmas

Texts: Isaiah 9:1-7

1Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—

2 The people walking in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death

a light has dawned.

3 You have enlarged the nation

and increased their joy;

they rejoice before you

as people rejoice at the harvest,

as men rejoice

when dividing the plunder.

4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,

you have shattered

the yoke that burdens them,

the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor.

5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle

and every garment rolled in blood

will be destined for burning,

will be fuel for the fire.

6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the LORD Almighty

will accomplish this.

Thesis: What if you missed the lights of Christmas? What would you miss? You would miss Jesus!

ALONE ON CHRISTMAS

George Mason’s life was centered in his business. He lived alone and refused all invitations to socialize. His brother’s family had urged him to visit but the children always made too much noise. Besides, he didn’t want to buy presents for his nephews and nieces. Instead he bought some good records for himself and planned to listen to them and enjoy himself at home alone. On Christmas Eve after his employees left, George Mason went into the office vault to get a little extra cash. Soundlessly on newly oiled hinges, the great door swung shut behind him. Sudden darkness and the final click of the automatic lock startled him and he panicked. Desperately he pounded on the door, but before long he realized that no one would hear him. Everyone had gone home and he was in the office alone. Even the cleaning woman had gone. He recalled hearing of people suffocating in vaults. He was frightened out of his wits. Maybe he could make it through the night if he was quiet and breathed slowly. In the morning the employees would arrive, open the vault and he would be fine.

The he remembered that tomorrow was Christmas. The office was closed. Everyone would be at their homes. No work, no people, no luck! Rats! His heart pounded with fear and he wondered if he could get enough air to last two days. He calmed himself and tried to think. It was a new vault. It seems like the salesman said it has a safety feature of an air hole. He began feeling around in the darkness. All around and then up and down before he finally located a screened hole at the top. It was too small for a thief but large enough for air.

He sat on the cold floor of the vault and began his vigil of waiting for Christmas. Christmas Eve passed, Christmas Day passed. He had wanted to be alone for Christmas but not this way. He was extremely uncomfortable, hungry and thirsty. He needed to use the toilet. The air was getting damp and cold. It was awful. The darkness was so intense it was almost brushing his face.

The day after Christmas the chief cashier arrived and disengaged the automatic lock of the vault but did not open the door. Without anyone seeing him George Mason staggered out of the safe and made his way to the water cooler. He grabbed his coat and hailed a taxi and went home to his lonely residence. Later in the day he returned to the office. No one had missed him. As he pondered his experience he decided to make a sign and place it beside the safe door. It was for all to read but it was a reminder to him. The words were: "To love people, to be needed somewhere, that is the purpose of life. That is the secret of happiness."

Although George never married he had learned a valuable lesson about family and the need for one another.

SOURCE: from "The Man Who Missed Christmas" by J. Edgar Park.

T.S. - Go over to the table with the seven candles and light each candle for each point. If you missed Christmas you would miss these 7 dimensions of light from the meaning of Christmas:

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