Summary: The dynamic of waiting for Christmas morning is the same dynamic that set up the first Christmas 2010 years ago. When Jesus arrived, He came as Emmanuel, God with us, the Dayspring who has visited us.
THE VISITATION #1: JESUS IS THE DAYSPRING
TOP TEN CHRISTMAS SONG DOWNLOADS OF 2010: Any guesses as to what #1 is?
1. Grandma got run over by a Reindeer
2. All I Want for Christmas – by Mariah Carey
3. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
4. Jingle Bell Rock
5. The Chipmunk Song
6. White Christmas
7. Last Christmas
8. Silent Night (this is the only Christmas Carol, and Kenny G’s version has no lyrics!)
9. A Christmas to Remember – by Wham
10. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
- only one song in the whole top 10 list that is a song about the birth of Jesus!
INTRO TO TOPIC: I love Christmas, how about you?
• Maybe it’s not as big a deal to you as it was when you were a kid.
• Can you remember what the days were like, counting down the days to Christmas?
THE BIG IDEA: The dynamic of waiting for Christmas morning is the same dynamic that set up the first Christmas 2010 years ago. When Jesus arrived, He came as Emmanuel, God with us, the Dayspring who has visited us.
- For many generations throughout the OT, there was always a remnant of Jewish people who waited every single day – not for Santa Claus – but for a Messiah.
THE PROMISE: (OT prophecies about the Coming Messiah).
The First Gospel – the Lord said to the serpent: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15).
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” (Micah 5:2).
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14).
• The Old Testament is full of hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah: “He is coming!”
• After the OT was completed, there were four hundred silent years before Jesus Christ was born, a time where many people gave up waiting.
• Today, we’re going to look at two people who continued faithfully waiting.
• Maybe you’ve had times where God seems quiet and inactive that you’ve wondered – why am I doing this? Why am I serving, giving, believing? This story is for you.
INTRO TO LUKE:
• For the next four months, we are going to go on a journey through the Gospel of Luke, studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, concluding on Easter Sunday.
• The Gospel of Luke is the first part of a two-part volume (along with Acts) written by Luke, a physician who accompanied the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys.
“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.” (Luke 1:5-7).
• Here we are introduced to Zacharias and Elizabeth, two believers who were descendants of Aaron and the priesthood. Luke tells us that they were righteous and blameless.
• They were doing right and being faithful even though God seemed silent and distant.
• They had been praying for children (see v.13) and yet God hadn’t answered their prayers.
• This story is so important to us because there are seasons where we question: Where is God? Why isn’t He answering my prayer? Does He care? The answer is yes!
“So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias for your prayer is heard.” (Luke 1:8-13a).
• Don’t miss the significance of this supernatural event! For 400 years, there had been no prophecies, dreams, visions, angels, or heavenly experiences of any kind.
• When Zach saw the angel he freaked out, and got the standard angel greeting: “Fear not!”
• Zacharias was freaked out, and he was a righteous man – imagine if it was you or me! He didn’t have anything to be afraid of, if an angel appeared to us, we’d be confessing stuff!