Summary: Sermon for Christmas Eve, 2012, Year C

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Luke 2: 18 - 19 / Will You Be Changed By Christmas?

Intro: A middle-aged woman posted her Christmas wish list on the refrigerator for her husband to read. Rather than list certain items, she simply requested something that would make her look sexy and beautiful. When Christmas rolled around, she expected to open a package with some fancy lingerie inside. To her surprise, he gave her a one-year membership to a health and fitness club. I ask you, do you think that Christmas was a very merry one?

I. There is a lot of pressure that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day be perfect days. Most people have a picture in their mind of what these days should be like. How often are those expectations really met?

A. A survey was taken of the worst Christmas gifts. Of those responding to the survey 31% said fruitcake. It finished ahead of no gift at all.

B. Think for a moment about the worst gift you’ve ever received at Christmas. How did it make you feel? Did it affect your relationship with the person who gave it? How did you react?

C. I want to share some lines from the story, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” “Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, was singing! Without any presents at all! He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming at all! It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe Christmas, He thought, doesn’t come from a store. May Christmas . . . Perhaps . . . mans a little bit more!

II. VSS. 18 – 19 – “and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But May treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

A. Are we amazed at the Christmas story? Are we changed by our Advent pilgrimage? If not, perhaps it is because we aren’t seeking the right things.

B. What do you want out of Christmas? What would make it wonderful? (snow / family together and happy / holiday spirit / finding the perfect present / getting the perfect present.

C. AT one time or another we have all been disappointed by Christmas because it didn’t deliver what we were looking for.

III. What are you seeking the Christmas? Are you chasing after something that doesn’t exist? There is only one gift that never disappoints at Christmas. That is the gift of Christ Jesus.

A. When asked how Christmas had changed his life, one man responded, “well, I had a lot more money and a lot less credit card debt before Christmas.” Christmas changes businesses by bringing in billions of dollars. It changes work and school schedules. It may even change our attendance at church.

B. How are you changed by Christmas? What would our world be like if Christ Jesus had not come to free us from sin and bring us God’s love and grace?

C. The world would have us believe that Christmas is the happiest time of year and that we are all going to have a great time, with great gifts. We think that the lights, decorations, beautiful trees and presents are going to transform our lives into some kind of miraculous peace, joy and happiness.

Conclu: For some, this Christmas will be full of hurtful memories, a lot of pain and a lot of sadness. --- A joyous Christmas is not going to be determined by the size and number of gifts. It is going to be determined by how much we allow Christ Jesus to be the Lord of our lives.

Christmas should change us by giving new or renewed focus and direction in our lives as we ask God, “Lord, what would you have me do.”

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