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Summary: Christmas is the time to be family.

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TOUCH THE FAMILY

Matthew 1:18-25

S: Love a Family Member

Th: The Christmas Touch

Pr: CHRISTMAS IS THE TIME TO BE FAMILY.

?: Inductive

KW: Stages

TS: We will find in the story found in Matthew 1:18-25 five stages that demonstrate that Christmas is the time to be family.

The _____ stage is…

I. SITUATION (18)

II. SEPARATION (19)

III. SECRET (20)

IV. SATISFACTION (21-23)

V. SERVICE (24-25)

RMBC 16 December 01 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Christmas (rich Armstrongs) [Judy is made up for unknown name]

Rick and Judy Armstrong had a hectic holiday schedule encompassing careers, teenagers, shopping, and all the required doings of the season. Realizing that she would be short of time, she had the stationer print their signature on their Christmas cards, instead of signing each one.

Soon they started getting cards from friends signed "The Modest Morrisons," "The Clever Clarks," and "The Successful Smiths." Then she discovered the stationer’s subtle mistake. She had mailed out a hundred cards neatly imprinted with "Happy Holidays from the Rich Armstrongs."

I’m sure they laughed their way through that mistake.

But sometimes, during this time of the year, when things do go wrong, it is easy to throw up our hands and say, “What is the use?”

It just seems to be too much.

1. Have you ever wanted to skip Christmas?

ILL Grisham Skipping Christmas

John Grisham has a new book out this year that is on the bestseller’s list. It is called Skipping Christmas. The book begins with Luther and Nora Krank saying good-bye to their daughter, Blair, who is going to be in Peru for a year with the Peace Corps. Since this will be their first Christmas without Blair, they decide to skip it and go on a cruise instead. It is a fun read as they go through the adventure of telling everyone that they are not participating in anything that has to do with Christmas. And sometimes you find yourselves rooting for them and at other times thinking, “Are they nuts?” I’m not going to give away the ending, but I did find myself laughing out loud at several points as they find there is as much stress in avoiding Christmas as there is in celebrating it.

(By the way, the ending does it make a worthwhile read—I recommend it.)

There is no doubt that Christmas can be a time of stress rather than peace.

There is a touch of irony in that, isn’t there?

I mean…

2. Isn’t it amazing that we show the least amount of tolerance during a time that is to be distinguished by peace?

Do you know what the best part of Christmas is?

It is being together with members of your family.

Do you know that the worst part is?

It is being together with members of your family.

It would be funny if it weren’t true.

Right?

Well, we know that Christmastime is family time.

But sometimes there is a lot of stress when it comes with being with family.

Those imperfections become difficult to digest.

In fact, because of past mistakes in our relationships, the relationships may be more known for anger, heartache and confusion rather than peace and good will.

Interestingly, those characteristics were something that Joseph experienced as well.


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