Summary: D. For sure, God wants us to know His reasons why He had His only begotten Son born into this world. On the night Jesus was born, the angels of God delivered a glorious message to the shepherds to make clear what Christmas is all about. Christmas is all a
Theme: WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT
Text: Luke 2: 8-14
A. Greetings: It’s our thanksgiving and Christmas celebration today. So let us greet one another: “Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving.”
B. A heated discussion occurred during our pastoral and theological upgrading seminar regarding the celebration of Christmas. Some argued that true believers are not supposed to celebrate Christmas. The major reason given by the anti-Christmas group was: Christmas is paganism. But what these people failed to see is the reason why true believers celebrate Christmas. They were concerned only with the “when” Jesus was born and the “how” Christmas was celebrated by non-believers. Well, there is truth in saying that Christmas celebration is associated with some pagan practices, and many people do it not in faith. Therefore, true believers are supposed to let the unbelieving world see the right way of celebrating the birth of the Savior. We can never tell them the truth by abstaining ourselves from the celebration.
C. What is Christmas all about? Why are we celebrating Christmas? If you don’t know the reason, the purpose, and the focus of Christmas, your celebration will have no meaning. It will be a lifeless Christmas.
D. For sure, God wants us to know His reasons why He had His only begotten Son born into this world. On the night Jesus was born, the angels of God delivered a glorious message to the shepherds to make clear what Christmas is all about. Christmas is all about God sending His Son to earth. It was not man’s idea; it was God’s idea. Christmas wasn’t man’s initiative, it was God’s initiative. Christmas came about because of God.
Today, I want us to think about the reasons why God did what He did at Christmas. I hope what we learn today will help us to have a conscientious and significant celebration this Christmas.
Certainly, coming to this world of corruption is not a joke to both God the Father and the Son. Christmas is not a funny story –especially in heaven. It was the time when the Son of God left His glorious throne in heaven and lived in this sin-stricken world. It was the time when God the Father made the greatest sacrifice of giving up His Beloved Son to save men from sin. Paul rightly said that in Christ we receive the “unspeakable gift of God.”
The word unspeakable in that verse is used to describe the value of what God has given us through His Son. It means, “immeasurable, infinite, or unfathomable.” Why such gift of infinite value? Why were we given with the unspeakable gift of heaven?
I. CHRISTMAS OCCURRED BECAUSE OF GOD’S DESIRE
The shepherds in our passage were so privileged to be the first group of people who had received the Good News of the Savior’s birth. Why the shepherds? Why not the religious people or the political people in Israel? Because they represent the majority of people in the world. Meaning, the birth of the Messiah was not for the few selected people only, but as the angel said: “A Good News that will be to all the people.”
The Birth of Jesus is Good News for each of us! Indeed it is! Notice that the angel not only reported the glorious event of Jesus’ birth, but also conveyed God’s divine desire for each of us in light of the Savior’s birth. Christmas came about because of God’s desire to:
1. Embrace us with His love.
This world is filled with people who feel lonely, empty, unloved, hopeless, broken, and tired. A renowned person once said: “It’s mysterious to be known so universally and yet be so personally lonely.” People do get lonely. We feel lonely inside because sin had estranged us from the presence of God. Sin caused emptiness within every human’s heart that only God with His love can fill. The Father sent His Son to fill our heart with His love. He is desirously passionate to fill the emptiness of our heart.
We know John 3: 16 so well. I believed most of us have memorized this verse. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” This is the most wonderful verse in the Bible. And take note: it comes right from the lips of our Savior.
Speaking of God’s love, the apostle Paul tells us that “God demonstrated His great love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” St. Augustine says, “God loves each one of us, as if there were only one of us.”
Wow! That is what Christmas is all about. It’s about the great love of God for us. It’s not about the presents we receive, the foods we partake, the parties, or the celebrations. Those are just props made by us. Christmas is God sending His Son to embrace us with His love through Him.”