Summary: In this message we will look at 6 things that Christmas means that are totally independent of food, family, gifts and snow.
What Christmas Means…
[show a clip from Jingle All The Way – in the beginning of the movie where Arnie goes to the store and meets Sinbad… start clip when it shows sky line and it when Arnie goes outside of store…]
I don’t know about you, BUT like the character that Arnie is playing in the clip we just saw) find Christmas very frustrating at times.... AND the main reason is BECAUSE so many either don’t know or have forgotten what Christmas is all about... It is certainly, though funny to watch - not about getting some toy or present that everyone wants. SO – just what does Christmas mean?
IF Christmas means family; THEN what does Christmas mean to a person who has just lost a loved one or has no family?
IF Christmas means shopping malls, Christmas trees and blinking lights; THEN what does Christmas mean to a family who lives in a remote village in the hills of Ghana, that has no electricity, let alone a shopping mall and has never seen a Christmas tree…
IF Christmas means the giving and receiving gifts; THEN what does Christmas mean to a single mother of 4 children, working 2 jobs, barely having enough money to pay the mortgage, keep the heat and put food in the refrigerator?
IF Christmas means white snow falling from the ski and covering the ground and bare tree limbs THEN what does Christmas mean to a person who lives in the Arizona desert?
NOW – please don’t misunderstand me… family, trees, lights, food, gifts and snow are all fine and good, and they can be very beneficial - but they are not what Christmas really means….
The legends of the Taj Mahal. They all fascinate, but there is one that haunts. The favorite wife of the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan died. Devastated, he resolved to honor her by constructing a temple that would serve as her tomb. He coffin was placed in the center of a large parcel of land, and construction of the temple began around it. No expense would be spared to make her final resting place magnificent.
But as the weeks turned into months, the Sha’s grief was eclipsed by his passion for the project. He no longer mourned her absence. The construction consumed him. One day while walking from one side of the construction site to the other, his leg bumped against a wooden box. The prince brushed the dust off his legs and order the workers to throw the box out.
Shah Jahan didn’t know he had ordered the disposal of the coffin – now forgotten – hidden beneath layers of dust and time. The one the temple was intended to honor was forgotten, but the Temple was erected anyway.
LISTEN – that is what has happened to Christmas. The this holiday was intended to honor has been forgotten buried underneath layers of boxes, bows, ribbons, parties and lights. UNDERSTAND – millions of people are going through all this activity and giving little or no thought whatsoever to the real reason we are celebrating… OKAY - my goal this morning is to talk about what Christmas really means… 6 things that are totally independent of snow, presents, food, decorations and even family…
Christmas Means…God Keeps His Promises
“A person who doesn’t give a promised gift is like clouds and wind that don’t bring rain…”
DO YOU – see that picture? IMAGINE that you are in desperate need of rain. AND then all of a sudden dark clouds come rolling in – the wind begins to really kick up. I mean it looks like a down pour is about to come in any second, BUT, it never does rain… “A person who doesn’t give a promised gift is like clouds and wind that don’t bring rain…”
QUESTION – have you discovered in your life that people can be just like those clouds and wind – at times they roll in and they can get all puffed up and they blow around a bunch of awesome words – some great promises of what they will do - BUT they never deliver?
· “I’m going to be there at your next game”
· “I’m so sorry, I’ll never talk to you like that again”
· “I promise I can really handle this, trust me, that will be the last drink I ever pick up
· “Listen it is going to be different around here from now on, I promise I am really going to change”
· “If you can just help us get through this tough spot, a promotion is sure to come your way”
· “I’ll be there promise, I won’t let you down again”
LISTEN – in a world where so many fail to do what they said they would do… In a world where husbands break promises to their wives and wives to their husbands… Where parents break promises to their children and children to their parents. Where friends break promises to friends and where companies like Enron break promises to their employees… In a world where so often we are left hoping and wondering if people will actually do what they said they would do… In a world where the actions of so many, makes us unsure, uncertain, doubtful and skeptical - IT is so awesome to know that Almighty God keeps his promises… AND – he has been doing it from the beginning….