Summary: This is a Christmas message geared to make us seek ways to change our attitudes for Christmas.
Will Christmas Make A Difference
How many of you here are doing something this week you would not regularly be doing but you’re doing it because Christmas is coming? When asked will Christmas make a difference in your life, one man responded, “yes it will. I will be in more debt after Christmas than I was before it arrived.”
Christmas will make a difference in many of our lives by turning us into frantic shoppers, talented decorators, family peacemakers, hectic cooks, and giver of presents. All year we have had the theme, “Made For A Mission.” How we approach Christmas is part of being made for a mission.
Some of you recognized part of that mission in your giving gifts to the Angel Tree ministry on behalf of parents who are in prison. Some of you saw your Christmas mission was to sponsor a needy family here in church with secret gifts. You know you are growing in Christ when you see opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others as a privilege rather than an obligation.
The world would have us would have us believe that Christmas is the happiest time of the year, and that we are all going to have a great time, with great gifts, and great get togethers. We think that the lights, and the decorations, and the beautiful trees, and the presents are going to transform our lives into some kind of miraculous peace and joy and happiness. We expect that Christmas is going to do this all by itself, because it’s Christmas.
The reality however is that when Jesus Christ is left out of Christmas, nothing really changes. More people will feel lonely
this week than any other time of the year. More people are going to commit suicide this week than any other time of the year. This year, more people have lost their jobs probably than any year since the Great Depression. Our nation is in an economic crisis. There are many people who will not have a job after Christmas as more and more businesses close.
During the next two weeks, more people are going to lose family members killed by drunk drivers than any other time of the year. There will be parties and alcohol and drugs will be abundant, and more wives and children will probably be abused this week because of them than any other time of the year. We need the presence of God in our families more than ever.
This Christmas is going to be hard for some of us because it
will be the first one we spend without our mother, our grandmother, our husband, our wife, our children, our brother, our sister or our real good fried. The family get togethers that many of us will have, are not all going to be pleasant. We all have family members who sometimes just act the fool and keep stuff going that should have been let go a long time ago. Some of us know that once so and so in our family picks up the bottle, its going to mean misery for every body else around.
Some of us are going to go through undo tension because we don’t have the money to get our children the things they wanted. We hate to see the disappointment on the their faces because we we would get it, but we now know that we can’t.
Some of us are going to be hurt because someone we love very much, is not even going to take the time to have purchased us just a little gift. My friends the way we celebrate Christmas, opens the door for a lot of pain, hurt, rejection and loneliness to pour into our lives. That hurt overshadows the gift of God, and somehow some of us will just want the day to hurry up and be over. Yes Christmas is going to make a difference.
Did you know that God wants Christmas to make a difference in your life. God had a different view in mind when He gave us Christmas. In our Scripture reading today it says in Isaiah 9:2 "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
While some of us feel the light of God beaming around us, others of us are living in the land of the shadow of death. When we are hurting , and we are lonely, and we are disappointed, God wants us to know that the darkness around us is not all there is. The difference of Christmas is that a great light has come into the world. We may feel as though we are in shadow of death, but God wants to shine His light and give us a new dawn. What is this light?