Summary: Part 1 of our series tied in to Advent Conspiracy. We called it "simplechristmas."
[This message was inspired by Rodney Buchanan’s excellent sermon on John 1:14 entitled, "The Word Made Flesh." You can find it here: http://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp ContributorID=&SermonID=41438]
Stephen N. Collins
Millville – 11/30/08
Part 1: Why Christmas Matters
Icebreaker: Show clip from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” “Can anyone tell what Christmas is all about?”
Intro: Well, can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about? (Ask kids in service what they want for Christmas.) Well kids, all those things sound nice, but today we’re going to talk about the best present you could ever get!
-Charlie Brown wanted to know what Christmas was really about. And you know what? I guarantee you’re going to hear someone this year say something just like that. Every year as it gets closer to Christmas, one of my friends or someone in my family will say something to the effect of “Oh, I just hope I don’t miss it this year!” I guarantee you you’ll hear it at some point during the next few weeks. “I just don’t want to miss Christmas, not this year!”
-The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.
So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.
And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas? I don’t think so.
-That’s what simplechristmas is all about. We’re going to focus on the heart of Christmas. And we’re not just going to talk about it. We’re going to DO it together. We’re going to be providing unique opportunities for you and your family to experience a simplechristmas together. For example, next Sunday we’re going to be talking about Worshipping More and Spending Less this Christmas season. And to go along with that, next Wednesday night we’re going to be having a family night here in our gym for parents and grandparents to bring their kids and grandkids along and make a gift for one another. (Ask kids if they would like to make a present for mom or dad this year?)
-From making gifts to serving the poor to visiting the lonely, we are going to go on a journey straight into the heart of Christmas this year. So make yourself a promise, right now. Promise yourself that this year, this year, you will NOT miss Christmas.
(Prayer) “Lord, reveal to us today why Christmas still matters.”
-You know, it’s really easy to become cynical about Christmas. So, when I say today that Christmas still matters, there will be a barrier that goes up in some of your minds that will immediately try to steal away any true affection or joy about what Christmas is.
-So today, if you’re experiencing any of those feelings at the moment, fight them! And let’s reason together today. I’m going to do my best to weave this together for us this morning. I want to give you the 3 reason Christmas still matters and what those 3 reasons mean for you, right now, in 2008.
Scripture: John 1:14
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The 3 Reasons Why Christmas Matters
1. Christmas reveals the heart of God.
Illustration: - I want to start by sharing a very personal e-mail with you. I have permission from Rachel, a committed member of our congregation, to share the following e-mail with you today. Rachel is a pretty quiet, unassuming person in our church. She’s always willing to do the behind-the-scenes things to help the ministries of our church. From volunteering to work with our children to assisting in running the PowerPoint for our services, she’s always doing something to help. Those of you who are on the Millville Prays e-mail prayer list got this message from her this past week. (Read e-mail about Rachel going through the process of donating her kidney to a friend.)
Questions: Now, many of us know, Rachel. But did you know that about her? Would you have ever guessed that someone you know by name would go to such lengths for a friend? Sometimes, we really don’t know the depths of someone’s heart until some circumstance reveals it to us.
-Have you ever found yourself wondering who God really is? Or what God is really like?
Statement: I know I have. All of us have. We’ve all been at that point where we wonder what God is really like. Is He the way we’ve thought of Him to be? Is He the way our parents told us He was?