Summary: Do we go through all the decorating, & buying presents, & preparing elaborate meals, but somehow forget whose birthday it really is? What does Christmas mean to you?
What is the real meaning of Christmas? - Unwrapping Christmas
Scripture: Luke 2:8-14 Date: 6 December 2009
Purpose: Do we go through all the decorating, & buying presents, & preparing elaborate meals, but somehow forget whose birthday it really is? What does Christmas mean to you?
VIDEO: “Unwrapping Christmas”
At Christmas time we find ourselves getting all wrapped up with the business of the holiday rather than the true meaning of what Christmas is all about. This Christmas I pray that we can focus on the greatest gift of all, the gift that God sent to us through the Virgin Mary long ago.
It seems that throughout the years we, instead of realizing the true meaning of Christmas, have wrapped Jesus up with wrapping paper decorated with Santa, Sugar plums, Egg Nog and the almighty dollar.
- It is time we unwrap JESUS and realize what Christmas is all about. This month we will be unwrapping Christmas to get a better look at it and to enjoy what God has given to us. Let’s unwrap the best present of all!
A. What do you think Christmas means to the non-Christian. To someone that has never accepted His love and forgiveness.
- What do you think Christmas means to someone that lives in a far off region, living in a hut, who knows nothing of Santa, presents or Christmas trees? What do you suppose Christmas mean to them?
- What do you think it means to little children in a third world country with no running water & empty bellies? What does Christmas mean to them?
- What Christmas means to each of you. Do you cherish the truths?
B. I’m sure that it means different things to different people.
To merchants it is the busiest time of the year. Stores stay open longer, & hire extra people to accommodate all the shoppers. It means more profit, hopefully enough profit to see them through lean times ahead.
For some employees it means a Christmas bonus, a little more money in their pockets to do things that they want to do.
For many teen-agers & adults it is a time of fun & parties. For children it is a time of impatience, with time seeming to pass so slowly, as they wait for Christmas morning.
Illustration: But sometimes I get the feeling that we are like the folks who decided to throw a party to honor a very special friend. They sent out invitations, decorated the hall, & had the food catered. All the people came together at the designated time, but to their surprise, the guest of honor was not there.
Finally, they made the embarrassing discovery that no one had ever invited the guest of honor.
- I wonder? Do we go through all the decorating, & buying presents, & preparing elaborate meals, but somehow forget whose birthday it really is?
- It isn’t our birthday, is it? It’s the Lord’s birthday & it’s a time to remember His birth & what it is supposed to mean to us. So please stand with me this morning as I read God’s word from the book of Luke 2:8-14. Listen as I read.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
* Children may now be released for our Children’s Program Practice.
C. The fact that God made the announcement to shepherds helps us to understand the real meaning of Christmas. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," & He chose to announce that to shepherds first of all.
Shepherds were at the opposite end of the society of the day. They lived in the fields with their animals. They weren’t respected. They had no power or prestige. Yet, God’s angel came to them & said, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ, the Lord." Unto shepherds a Savior was born.
- In that one simple announcement God made known some very important truths.
I. YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO GOD
First of all, it tells us, "No matter how insignificant you may think you are, God knows you, & you are important to Him."