Summary: Discusses Christmas from the vantage point of God the Father.
VANTAGE POINT: GOD, THE FATHER
Vantage Point Christmas—Part 1
Introduction to the sermon series.
Introduction to today’s sermon.
OUR FATHER LONGED TO PLAN THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, Galatians 4:4 (NAB)
OUR FATHER PREPARED THE SPIRITUAL ENVIROMENT
Judaism Strongly Emphasized Monotheism
Jews Steadfastly Hoped In A Coming Messiah
Judaism Provided a High Moral Standard
The Jewish People Preserved The Old Testament Scriptures—collected into one volume
Jews Provided the Institution of the Synagogue
OUR FATHER PREPARED THE CULTURAL ENVIROMENT
The Greek Language Was The Universal Language
Greek Philosophy Discredited Polytheism and Left a Spiritual Vacuum
Hebrew Scriptures translated into the Greek language
OUR FATHER PREPARED THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT
The Roman Empire Provided Unity Under a Universal Law—Suppressed Criminal Acts
Security Provided By The Roman Army Allowed Freedom of Travel
The Romans Developed an Excellent System of Roads
The Romans Developed a Fine Postal System
The Roman Army Spread Christianity All Over The Empire
Time of Silent Prayer/Meditation
Song: While I’m Waiting (Song begins without introduction after 90 seconds of prayer)
4. Our Father Even Prepared The Celestial Environment
Roll Video “Bethlehem Star”
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.
 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7 (NIV)
What seemed like just another taxation and census for the Roman Empire was actually God the Father on the move, preparing the way for his perfect Christmas.
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mark 1:15 (NIV)
OUR FATHER LONGS FOR US TO KNOW HIM
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, Hebrews 1:1-3 (NIV)
Jesus is the audio visual God. He shows us the exact representation of God. God wants us to know him in an unfiltered way—He does that at Christmas.
1. Our Father Wants Us To Know Him as Father.
"This, then, is how you should pray:
" ’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Matthew 6:9 (NIV)
2. Our Father Wants Us To Know The Depth of His Love
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
3. Our Father Wants Us To Know He Offers Hope
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 (NIV) Hope in suffering.
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27 (NIV) Hope in stress
OUR FATHER LONGS TO CHANGE THE TRAJECTORY OF OUR LIVES
Our Father will not allow the devil to blackmail the universe forever. Satan’s Fortress Earth is about to be invaded. It will be a massive assault that will forever change the trajectory of human history--as God the Father changes the trajectory of human beings one life at a time.
1. My Father Longs To Repair My Broken Spirit
God doesn’t just offer to forgive us. He offers to heal us. He doesn’t just offer us a place in heaven. He offers wholeness.
The bible is filled with great “comeback” stories. Men and women who had broken hearts and were down for the count, but God restored them to wholeheartedness.
Joseph—sold into slavery by his own brothers, falsely accused by his boss’s wife, forgotten by his friends in prison, but God restored him
Peter—Jesus identifies him with Satan’s forces, makes big promises to Jesus, his courage evaporates when it’s needed the most, he feels like an utter failure, but God restored him