Summary: This sermon is all about the sharing process of Christmas.
THEME: MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
Today I have an inspiration to preach about the meaning of Christmas. The word ‘Christmas’ represents the combination of two words, "Christ" and "mass." The word means "the mass of Christ." But what does "mass" really mean in the compound word Christmas? Any authoritative dictionary will reveal that the English term mass evolved from the Anglo-Saxon word maesse, which derived in turn from the Latin missa, which is a form of the verb mittere, which means, "to send." Consequently, the root meaning of Christ-mass is "to send Christ," or "Christ is sent."
Is God against describing the coming of His son with a word meaning "Christ is sent"? Did not Paul refer to Immanuel's incarnation as the sending of Christ? "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman..." (Galatians 4:4). Moreover, the Savior spoke often of "him who sent me." There is nothing innately intolerable in the name Christmas. The term accurately represents what the holiday is all about or should be—the sending of Christ.
BODY OF THE SERMON
One day three sisters visited us and gave us a gift in a Christmas season. That provoked my thinking and took me to the whole process of Christmas. We see the real sharing in it. I would like to invite your attention to three major sharing in the process of the original Christmas.
I. Heaven shared its glory
Two thousand years ago when Jesus came to this world, born of a woman, literally heaven shared its glory with the human being. John chapter 1 verse 14 says that, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
In Philippians chapter 2 verses 6 through 9 Paul says that “Although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross...” (Phil 2:6-9)
Yes the process of Christmas is the sharing of the glory of heaven
II. Animals shared their place (manger) (Luke 2:7)
Doctor Luke, a physician explains, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) The inn was full so she had to lay the newborn Jesus into the manger. Doctor Luke knows the danger laying a newborn in a manger. A manger is not the best place but the worst. The creator and the sustainer of the whole universe is being laid in the manger. Just imagine if the animals were aggressive to them; they would have gone for some other place. But the animals were whole-heartedly ready to share their place.
III. The role of human beings
There are three groups of people involved in the process of Christmas.
1) Parents of Jesus. Due to the lack of time I would like to share about Mary this evening. Mathew chapter one verses 18 and 19 talks about the divine intervention of God. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 1:18)
According the Law of Moses she supposed to be stoned to death. Deuteronomy chapter 22 verses 20 and 21 explains that, "But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death (Deut. 22: 20, 21).”
Mary shared her life. She risked her life for the process of Christmas.
2). Wise men shared their wealth
Mathew says that the wise men travelled all the way from the east and shared their wealth. I do not like to go to the details of it but rather let me move on to the next group, the shepherds.
3) The shepherds (Luke 2: 15-20)
For the wise men the star was enough to know that the savior was born but the shepherds needed the intervention of the angels. Recently I have found a wonderful sign board in industry Beaver that ‘still the wise men seek Jesus’ and I took a picture of it and posted in my facebook. My dear friends! If any of you haven’t started seeking Jesus yet, let this Christmas season be the beginning of seeking Jesus in your life. Illiterate shepherds, “they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger”. (Luke 2:16)