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Summary: A simple sermon with props for a ’Carols by Candlelight’c service for our older folks

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UNWRAPPING CHRISTMAS MT 1:18-25

Silver Service (older folks) Carols by candlelight, Thurs 2nd Dec 2004

Props: a present due to be unwrapped in 3 layers

The little girl was sitting with her grandmother, who had presented her with her first little children¡¦s Bible, in an easy-to-read translation, when she was very young.

Now, a decade or so later, the elderly lady was ready to spend a few sweet moments handing down the big old family Bible, in the time-honoured King James Version, to her only grandchild.

Understandably excited, the youngster was asking a number of questions, both about the family members whose births and deaths were recorded therein, and about various aspects of the Scriptures themselves.

Her grandmother was endeavouring to answer all the child¡¦s questions in terms she could understand, but the one that stopped her cold was this sincere inquiry:

"Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus? Was it the Virgin Mary, or the King James virgin?"

SOURCE: http://www.cybersalt.org/cleanlaugh Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO

It¡¦s very easy to misunderstand things!

- particularly Christmas! It¡¦s wrapped in so much paper and tinsel!

- Saddest thing is- many people think the tinsel is what it¡¦s about

o Many churchgoers, even!

o Enjoy it but left thinking: there must be more

So- let¡¦s take off some of the tinsel¡Kunwrap Christmas to find out what really is behind it all. Find out what the real gift is.

LAYER ONE: A BABY?

I¡¦ve been sent (emailed!) news of 2 babies this last week. + photos!

- everybody loves babies!

- Our place is covered with photos of ours

Everybody loves the story of Christmas and ¡¥baby Jesus¡¦ because

- cute baby, born in rags, but visited by kings

o (rags to riches in one visit!)

And that¡¦s great- but it gets even better. If we unwrap it. Take off the tinsel.

HE GREW (take off layer one to reveal)

God¡¦s purpose in sending Jesus wasn¡¦t only for him to be a baby

- doesn¡¦t end there

A girl of ten years went with a group of family and friends to see the Christmas light displays at various locations throughout the city. At one church, they stopped and got out to look more closely at a beautifully done nativity scene.

¡§Isn¡¦t that beautiful?¡¨ said the little girl¡¦s grandmother. ¡§Look at all the animals, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus.¡¨

¡§Yes, Grandma,¡¨ replied the granddaughter. ¡§It is really nice. But there is only one thing that bothers me. Isn¡¦t baby Jesus ever going to grow up¡Khe¡¦s the same size he was last year¡¨

From http://www.sermons.org/xmasillus2.html via www.sermoncentral.com

He grew. Grew to fulfil and incredible purpose. Born for an incredible purpose.

- Born to die!

Why?

- well, it¡¦s revealed in His name

JESUS (reveal)

- which means ¡¥the Lord saves¡¦

The tinsel and mince pies of Christmas are great- but they won¡¦t solve our greatest problem or need

- our greatest need is for

o relationship with God

o forgiveness for the things we¡¦ve done wrong

A small boy was writing a letter to God about the Christmas presents he badly wanted. "I¡¦ve been good for six months now," he wrote. But after a moment¡¦s reflection he crossed out "six months" and wrote "three". After a pause that was crossed out and he put "two weeks". There was another pause and that was crossed out too. He got up from the table and went over to the little crib scene that had the figures of Mary and Joseph. He picked up the figure of Mary and went back to his writing and started again: "Dear God, if ever you want to see your mother again¡K!"


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