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Summary: Learning from the heralding messages of the Angels to the Shepherds. In this second message we pick up with the first of three messages from the Angels heralding moment. The first is a time for celebration... a personal message, a universal message, and

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Purpose of Christmas Part 2: A Time for Celebration

Last week we discussed from Luke 2 the response of the Shepherds to the Angels heralding cry of the coming messiah…

Christmas is a time for Celebration…

Christmas is specifically a party, a birthday party… celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ! A hinge of history, the coming messiah, foretold in prophecy, now has come to take upon the sin of the world on his shoulders, and set us all free… all those who desire to walk with God!

Ironically at Christmas, many parties this time of year never mention the guest of honor Jesus… often overlooked…

Now preparing for Christmas can be a lot of work… buying gifts, sending cards, decorating our homes, lights, cooking, attending parties, cleaning up, with all of this, we actually have little time to enjoy our actual Christmas…

Our Christmas series is about refocusing ourselves this Christmas … and looking at the purpose of Christmas.

First the purpose of Christmas is celebration… The angels opening statement tells us this…

Luke 2: 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Christmas is worth celebrating for three reasons…

• It’s personal – I bring you…

• It’s good – good news of great joy…

• And it’s universal – will be for all people…

As Rick Warren puts it… It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, or where you’re headed – this news is for you.

God Loves YOU! God is with YOU! God is for YOU!

Now each of these three moments we will discuss this morning…

God Loves YOU! God is with YOU! God is for YOU!

Are about a shift in the way we see things… the truth is that when we try and trust our feelings, or out intellect alone… and look with Human eyes… rather than through the lens of the divine… we get things confused.

The way we see others, and the way we see God are confused by our own experiences, feelings, stress levels… and we desperately need to allow God’s truth to speak to our hearts and encourage us…

Like a recent church looking for a Senior Pastor…

SEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT We do not have a happy report to give. We have not been able to find a suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect. Thank you for your suggestions. We have followed up on each one with interviews or by calling at least three references. The following is our confidential report. ADAM: Racial ancestry could not be confirmed. Good man but has problems with his wife. One reference told us how he and his wife enjoyed walking nude in the woods, until God finally made them put clothes back on. NOAH: Had Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects. Great animal lover, but the last neighborhood received a flood of complaints right as he was leaving town. JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and has a prison record over accusations of a rape of his bosses wife. Good with budgets and managing resources, however. MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge. Often claims to get direct quotes from God. Too much over the top for most folks. History says he was a basket case from the beginning. DEBORAH: One word --- Female. DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor’s wife. Besides, he can’t control his own household... so how could we respect him. SOLOMON: Great preacher, but he too, has had serious women problems. Independantly wealthy, so the church could pay him less and he can make up the difference. ELIJAH: Prone to depression; collapses under pressure. Besides, no one has seen him in a long time. Doesn’t blend well with other religious leads, either. HOSEA: A tender and loving pastor, but our people could never handle his wife’s occupation. JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here three days later. We hung up. AMOS: Too much of a country hick. Backward and unpolished. With some seminary training, he might have promise; but he has a hang-up against wealthy people. JOHN: Says he is a Baptist, but doesn’t dress like one. May be too Pentecostal. Tends to lift both hands in the air to worship when he gets excited. You know we limit to one hand. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders. PETER: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper, even said to have cursed on occasions. He’s a loose cannon. PAUL: Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. However, he’s short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach all night. Very offensive to women when he starts his "submission" stuff. And besides, he has a rap sheet a mile long in numerous cities. TIMOTHY: Too young and inexperienced. JESUS: Has had popular times occasionally, but once when his church grew overnight to 5000, he managed to offend them all with too hard a message; eventually his church dwindled down to twelve people... then finally to eleven, and even the faithul finally left his team. Critics report he seldom stays in one place very long, is easily distracted by poor, sick, and needy people, so doesn’t focus on ministry. Disappeared for forty days one time to go camping and everyone thought he had left the ministry. Spends too much time in meditation, needs to attend more of the organizational meetings without making a spectacle of himself and displaying his temper. And, of course, he is single, which disqualifies him automatically. Oh... and he hangs around with sinners most of the time. Rumor has it he got crossed up with the government at one point, and they buried him with accusations. He’s not a quitter, however, and keeps popping up here and there. His followers are too radical at times for society, and that seems headed for a showdown somewhere in the future. Besides, he’s Jewish. Summary: We intend to keep looking until we find the perfect pastor for our congregation. Sincerely, Pastor Search Committee.


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