Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus came to set the captive free and heal the broken hearted but how will they know unless someone tells the story...

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an airplane at Kitty Hawk NC. On their 5th attempt, the plane under the control of Orville, embarked on a 12 second flight. Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message – WE HAVE FLOWN FOR 12 SECONDS - WE WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!

Upon receiving the telegram their sister, Katherine went to the newspaper office, told the editor of her brother’s 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 placed the following headline on the 6th page of the paper: “WRIGHT BROTHERS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS”

The most important story of the year – man’s first flight – and the editor missed it!

We are thirteen days away from Christmas and in the business of the season the greatest story ever told is being overlooked by the masses and tonight I want to speak to you on the subject… The story must be told.

Why must the story be told? Because…

1. A dark world needs to know the Light has come…

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

History records for us an interesting footnote. It was during the dark winter of 1864. At Petersburg, Virginia, the Confederate army of Robert E. Lee faced the Union divisions of General Ulysses S. Grant. The war was now three and a half years old and the glorious charge had long since given way to the muck and mud of trench warfare. Late one evening one of Lee’s generals, Major General George Pickett, received word that his wife had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Up and down the line the Southerners began building huge bonfires in celebration of the event. These fires did not go unnoticed in the Northern camps and soon a nervous Grant sent out a reconnaissance patrol to see what was going on. The scouts returned with the message that Pickett had had a son and these were celebratory fires. It so happened, that Grant and Pickett had been contemporaries at West Point and knew one another well, so to honor the occasion Grant, too, ordered that bonfires should be built.

What a peculiar night it was. For miles on both sides of the lines fires burned. No shots fired. No yelling back and forth.

No war fought; only light… celebrating the birth of a child. For a few moments, there was peace. For a few moments there was a smile on their faces. But it didn’t last. Soon the fires burned down and once again the darkness took over; the darkness of the night and the darkness of war.

The story of Christmas is, in the midst of a great darkness there came a greater Light, and the darkness was not able to overcome the light.

It was not just a temporary flicker. It was an eternal flame. We need to remember that. There are times, in the events of the world and in the events of our own personal lives that we feel the light of the world will be snuffed out. But the story affirms that whatever happens, the light still shines.

I have seen circumstances where the darkness was so thick, there seemed to be no hope of the Light shining through, but the Light still shines. I have been involved in personal tragedies where shadows of doom and gloom covered the family and tried to snuff out the Light, but the Light still shines. The world needs to hear the story and understand the Light that shined into the darkness some two thousand years ago is still shining in the darkness today. The darkness could not, the darkness cannot, and the darkness will not overcome the Light.

2. Why must the story be told… because the world needs to be reminded of Who the story is about…

I heard a tale about a woman who was doing her last-minute Christmas shopping at a crowded mall. She was tired of fighting the crowds. She was tired of standing in lines. She was tired of fighting her way down long aisles looking for a gift that had sold out days before. Her arms were full of bulky packages and when the Elevator door opened, it was also full.

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