Summary: If we are not careful, we will let distractions keep us from experiencing the real reason and person of Christmas.
WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS?
LUKE 2: 25-38
Introduction- Merry Christmas everyone!
Sermon title- Who stole Christmas
Asking who stole Christmas may seem like an odd thing to say tonight, but many have lost Christmas.
To many it is about presents, food, and drink. Parties, time off and having a good time. When that is over, all that is left is the void and emptiness that was temporarily filled by stuff.
The Grinch tried to do the same thing to the people of Whoville in the classic movie “How the Grinch stole Christmas”. The problem for the Grinch was they did not base their joy on presents but on people.
The people of God should not base Christmas on gifts and food, even though that is a way of expressing love to our families and friends.
It is about the Christ-child who came from heaven to bring us the greatest gift of all time- Himself!
Eternal life and the redemption of mankind.
Who stole Christmas may seem strange as we sit tonight as we prepare to participate in a candlelight service.
THINK ABOUT IT:
Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas
To think that a few people upset have the power to change the majority and we let them.
Saying winter break instead of Christmas break
Giving holiday gifts instead of Christmas gifts.
The Post Office having a Holiday stamp instead of a Christmas stamp
WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS?
Who made it what it is today and how do we get it back?
Joseph and Mary pledged to be married
Supernaturally God gives Mary the honor to carry into this world the savior of the world.
Not born in style, not born to wealth, but humbly in nothing more than a barn.
Just like God said, at the appointed time by the appointed people, God showed up in the flesh-
Account of the angels and the shepherds
The passage of Scripture that Fred read.
God has made an announcement to the world the savior of the world has come and His name is Jesus.
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an airplane at Kitty Hawk, N.C. On their fifth attempt, the plane under the control of Orville embarked on a 12 second flight. Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message – we have flown for 12 seconds. We will be home for Christmas.
Upon receiving the telegraph, their sister Katherine went to the newspaper office and told of her brothers new flying machine, and informed them they would be home for Christmas if they would like to set up an interview. He assured her that he would put something in the paper regarding her brothers.
On December 19th, the local paper placed the following headline on the sixth page of the newspaper “Wright Brothers Home for Christmas.”
The editor missed the story.
In our rush, in all our gift giving, in all the things we do during the season… have we missed it?
I heard the story of a woman who was doing her last minute shopping at a crowded mall. She was tired of fighting the crowds. She was tired of standing in lines. She was tired of fighting her way down long aisles looking for the perfect gift that had sold out a few days before. Her arms were full of bulky packages when the elevator door opened. It was full. The occupants of the elevator grudgingly tightened ranks to allow a small space for her and her load. As the door closed she blurted out, whoever is responsible for this whole Christmas thing ought to be arrested, strung up, and shot. A few others nodded their heads or grunted in agreement. Then, from somewhere in the back of the elevator came a single voice that said, “Don’t worry. They already crucified him.
Present giving goes all the way back to the wise men- they showered the baby Jesus with gifts of love.
3 small boys in a Christmas play at school. They represented the three wise men and they were going to give their gifts to baby Jesus. The one boy stepped forward, held out his hands and said, “Gold”. When he stepped back, the second boy stepped forward and said “myrrh” when the third boy stepped forward, held out his hands and said “frank sent this”
If Jesus is not the center of the gift giving, it is a holiday gift.
If you would ask the men and women over in Iraq and their families at home what they would like for Christmas, they would say their family to be together.
Our son Tony in 2007 was in Afghanistan and 4 days before Christmas He was coming home. Sure we bought him presents, that‘s what you do for people you love, but the greater gift was him, his presence, not the present itself.