Summary: The real meaning of Christmas is tied up essentially in the events that we celebrate at Easter
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first successful flight in an aeroplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in the USA
It was their 5th attempt, with Orville being at the controls
The flight only lasted 12 seconds – but it was man first flight in an aircraft.
Wilbur Wright rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message to his sister Katherine in Dayton, Ohio– WE HAVE FLOWN FOR 12 SECONDS - WE WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!
Upon receiving the telegram, Katherine went to the newspaper office, told the editor of her brothers’ new flying machine, and informed him, they would be home for Christmas, if he would like to set up an interview.
He told her that was nice, and he would be sure to put something in the paper regarding the boys.
On December 19th, the local paper – The JOURNAL didn’t even mention the flight
The headline on the 6th page of the paper simply read: “WRIGHT BROTHERS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS”
The most important story of the year was man’s first flight in an aircraft – and the editor missed it!
I wonder if the same could be said about us when it comes to Christmas.
As I look around in the shops, watch the advertising on TV, I notice that the most important things seem to revolve around
• The tree being decorated
• The turkey being cooked on time (whatever on time is!) and
• The music being festive
And of course have we bought all the presents?
In short is the Season is Right?
It is Christmas, and I am pleased to tell you tonight there are no shopping days left before Christmas!
In all of our rushing around, in all of our gift buying, in all the things we have to do during this season –
HAVE WE MISSED THE Phenomenal event –
The BIRTH OF JESUS
But why do we remember the birth of Jesus
After all he was born in a back woods country (Israel) of the Roman Empire.
And even within Israel itself, he lived in an area of land Galilee considered hill billy country.
And while on earth he did nothing that would have made him rich and famous
He didn’t command an army or navy.
He wasn’t an important international politician.
He didn’t travel to the cultural centres of the world - Rome, Athens and Alexandria to make a name for himself as a philosopher.
Indeed he didn’t travel outside an area of 100 miles from where he was born.
He didn’t write a book.
He didn’t persuade the rich and powerful to back him in his mission and eventually he died a criminal’s death on a Roman Cross.
And he left a small broken band of followers who left him to his fate.
You would have thought if he was a mere man that this would have been the end of it with his execution
But yet history tells us that within 300 years of Jesus death, this band of men and women had turned the known world upside down.
The key to understanding why we really celebrate Christmas is the fact that - as we celebrate each year at Easter - Jesus rose from the dead.
He rose from the dead - never to die again.
And what is more HE IS alive today – something no other person has done.
He didn’t need the trappings of man to “get ahead”
Christmas only has any real meaning if we realise that the Baby in the Stable is the Jesus, the Son of God who was raised from the dead.
Christmas only has any real meaning if we realise that Jesus came to earth to enable man to come into a fresh relationship with God.
Christmas only has any meaning if we actually come into a living relationship with Jesu himself – the crucified one who God raised from the dead.
Otherwise we will be like the editor of the local paper in Drayton Ohio who missed the world transforming event of man’s first flight in 1903 – and only picked up the true but insignificant fact that the Wright brothers would be home for Christmas.