Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In our society you can’t even utter the word "Christmas" in many circles. Why not just do away with it?

Have you noticed that a lot of stores are now open on Christmas Day? At one large grocery store chain, they told their employees that the reason they now open on Christmas is that only about 30% of Americans are Christians so why not?

In our culture, especially in the last few years, the word Christmas has become almost one of the 7 dirty words you can’t say on television. We have holiday trees and winter breaks and solstice celebrations but nary a mention of Christmas.

Recently a sixth grader was penalized for daring to mention the name of Jesus in an assignment to write a poem called “What Christmas means to me.” The poem read: “The best Christmas ever is when everyone is there. It is when everyone is laughing here and there. That is the Christmas I want to share. Christmas is about Jesus’ birth. About peace on Earth. This is what Christmas is about. It is when He lay in a manger. And the three wise men come to see. That’s what it means to me.”

11 year old Andrew Wright’s teacher circled the word “Jesus” on the rough draft and deducted a point saying “He and another child did a poem about Christ. I know we can’t discuss these type [sic] of things in school so I asked the two of them to do another poem of their choice.” After the parent’s objected to the principal the original poem, and grade, was reinstated, but the poem never made it to the Winter Writer’s Board in the Hattiesburg Public School District. (citation)

According to our president we are no longer a Christian nation.

I saw a (not so) funny Christmas greeting for our post-Christian times:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

In addition we wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or choice of computer platform.

Besides all of that, Christmas is just a day off work and a time when we spend lots of money we don’t have for gifts no one needs. We eat too much and stress too much and for many the holidays are a lot of work for very little benefit.

At this point the next words out of my mouth would likely be “Bah. Humbug!”

Why celebrate Christ’s birth? Why not just let this celebration continue in the direction it’s going—eventually to be cast aside completely?

The angels did it

There were three different sets of angelic messages sent. Zechariah was told his son would “make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” (Luke 1:17). Mary was told her she was favored and that the fruit of her womb would sit on David’s throne (Luke 1:30-33). They told the shepherds that there was “good news of a great joy”. In David’s city would be born a Savior, a Messiah, and the Lord (kurios).

They then broke into song: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among those with whom he is pleased. (Luke 2:14).

The shepherds did it

They went and found the baby. They spoke out what they had seen and heard. Then they glorified and praised God upon returning to the fields.

The Wise Men did it

They searched diligently and “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matthew 2:10). They fell down and worshipped, giving gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Prepare your heart. His coming was very important…crucially important.

Speak We should be as bold to talk about what Christ’s birth means to us. “For unto us a Son is born.” Personalize it, don’t generalize it.

Worship and place Him on the throne of your life as Savior (myrrh), as king (gold), and God (frankincense).

“For unto us a child is born…”

Among the most helpless beings on the planet, a newborn human baby…yet

His vision was limited to the faces near Him – yet He for Him dark is light

He had just started breathing on His own – yet he gave man the breath of life

He had no power – yet he could calm the seas and raise the dead

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