Summary: Last of four sermons discussing Christmas from the vantage point of major contributors in the story of the incarnation.
Opening Set of Praise and Worship
Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
While I’m Waiting
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Your Grace Is Enough
Welcome and Announcements
Vantage Point Christmas—Part 4
There is only one Christmas story. It was written 200 years ago and we faithfully retell its details generation after generation. What you may not realize is that although the body of the Christmas story has been written, God intentionally laid down his pen so that every one of us could write the final chapter of this epic story.
There is one Christmas story, but like a great movie, it has alternate endings. Some of those endings make you smile, other turn you to tears, and still others leave you asking why. God gives all of us the privilege of writing our own ending. Today we’re going to look at how six people wrote the final chapter to their Christmas story. Their story is finished. It’s bound and printed. Their story can’t change. But you are still writing your Christmas story. The final draft of your version is still being edited.
How your Christmas story ends will be determined by your vantage point…that is, how you see Christmas. If I know how you see Christmas I know how you will write that final chapter. God has told us about six people that heard that Christmas story and then penned their final chapter. Each one has a unique vantage point on Christmas and their vantage point determined how their story ended. Which of these six reflect your vantage point? How you answer that question, will determine whether the final chapter of your Christmas story is a great drama or a sad tragedy.
MY VANTAGE POINT ON CHRISTMAS AFFECTS THE STORY I WRITE WITH MY LIFE
IF I SEE MY LORD, I SURRENDER MY LIFE AND I’M RADICALLY CHANGED
"I am the Lord’s servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38 (NIV)
A young unmarried girl who became pregnant risked disaster. Unless the father of the child agreed to marry her, she would probably remain unmarried for life. If her own father rejected her, she could be forced into begging or prostitution in order to earn her living. And Mary, with her story about being made pregnant by the Holy Spirit, risked being considered crazy as well. Still Mary said, despite the possible risks, “May it be to me as you have said.” When Mary said that, she didn’t know about the tremendous opportunity she would have. She only knew that God was asking her to serve him, and she willingly obeyed. Don’t wait to see the bottom line before offering your life to God. Offer yourself willingly, even when the outcome seems disastrous.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:20-24 (NIV)
Roll Video “Nativity Story” (DVD Chpt 12—47:00-48:19)
IF I SEE BUSYNESS, I GROW SHALLOW AND OVERLOOK THE SIGNIFICANCE
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 2:7 (NIV)
Pat Cook tells the story of a Jewish lady named Mrs. Rosenberg who many years ago was stranded late one night at a fashionable resort - one that did not admit Jews. The desk clerk looked down at his book and said, "Sorry, no room. The hotel is full."
The Jewish lady said, "But your sign says that you have vacancies."
The desk clerk stammered and then said curtly, "You know that we do not admit Jews. Now if you will try the other side of town..."
Mrs. Rosenberg stiffened noticeable and said, "I’ll have you know I converted to your religion."
The desk clerk said, "Oh, yeah, let me give you a little test. How was Jesus born?"
Mrs. Rosenberg replied, "He was born to a virgin named Mary in a little town called Bethlehem."
"Very good," replied the hotel clerk. "Tell me more."