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Summary: Many people make Christmas about everything but Christ.

What is Your Christmas All About?

Matthew 2

Series: Christmas with the Classics

November 27, 2011

Morning Service

Movie Clip: Merry Christmas Charlie Brown

Key Question: What is your Christmas all about? (Empty religion) – Contentment

Scene: When Charlie Brown asks what Christmas is all about

Possible texts – Matthew 2 (Main Text)

Contentment – I have learned to be content

The problem: Religious leaders knew the Truth but failed to act on it.

These leaders were the primary religious experts of the day. These chief priests and teachers of law were those who carried out religious experience and instruction. The information about the Messiah was not hidden from them but they did nothing with it. The information was obvious to them and is shown by their quick response to King Herod.

Review information about Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law

Understand that these leaders were at summon of a pagan ruler. Their focus was on pleasing the earthly king not their heavenly king. They refused to explore and examine the truth. If anyone should have welcomed the Messiah, it should have been the Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law.

LOTR – Return of the King: Gondor had been without a king for a long period of time and there were individuals entrusted with leadership of the land. These individuals were given the task of preparing for the rise of a new king. Instead of being ready for the new king to come to power, they fought the ascent of the king.

Israel was going through a similar situation, the Chief Priests and the Teachers of the Law should have been making things ready for the rise of the king. The religious leaders were either not interested in the rise of the messiah or they wished to remain in leadership.

The result was a spiritual power struggle to remain in authority. How often are churches plagues with issues of power and control. We struggle with Christ to have full control over our lives.

How often does the world summon us to compromise on our values and beliefs?

The hope

What hope is gained here? The Messiah has come! Jesus has already come to our world to draw us close to God. Jesus made the choice to draw near to us so we could draw near to God. There is no better hope. The Messiah is the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore the kingdom of David. The Messiah is the embodiment of God’s desire to bring His people home. The Messiah is the promised King. The Messiah is our hope!

Jesus brings wholeness and completion to our lives. The message of Christmas is that we do not have to live any longer waiting and longing for something more or something greater in our lives. The wait is over we can have it now! Jesus brings fullness to empty religion. Jesus brings life to empty spirituality. Jesus brings hope to a hopeless existence. Jesus makes all things new. Jesus brings His divine power to connect with our divine weakness.

Jesus is our hope

Only because of Jesus we can experience hope.

Jesus is the source of our hope

Personal implications/applications

1. Christmas is more than just a holiday

• Christmas has become an entity in itself

• Share some of the history of Christmas (Ace Collins – Christmas Traditions Book)

• The problem of commercialism – Consume, consume, consume

• We buy into the message of getting, wanting and desiring more – Christmas is a season of giving – God gave us Jesus: He gave us the gift of redemption

• Redemption is the point of Christmas – redemption is the direct opposite of religion – redemption is the

2. Christmas is more than gifts

Even our giving is often self centered – we focus on those around us (How often do we give something extra to Jesus during the Christmas season? Have you ever considered doing something for the “least of these”?)

Giving has always been and will always be a heart issue, not a money issue. The problem is our mentality of being a consumer.

Wesley – Earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can

Story of Wesley from John Maxwell tape (Gave his vast fortune away – He lived on an extremely small portion) John Wesley was earning money from books and writings that could have made him wealthy. He died with very few earthly possessions – Check to see what was left from oniine source

3. Christmas is beyond the celebration

We often focus on the celebration and now the source of the celebration. We become fixated with the trimmings and the trappings but miss the real meaning. We miss the fact that the savior of the world has come. We miss the fact that Jesus is the source of the celebration.

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