Summary: To truly keep Him as our focus, we must start by truly worshiping Christ. What can we learn from those who worshiped Christ at the very first Christmas?
Keep Christ in Christmas
Joseph worshipped through Obedience
Mary Worshipped through Submission
The Magi worshipped through Sacrifice
Well, here we are. December 2013 and the Christmas season has started. But in a lot of places in our country, I am not sure it is the joyous time it is supposed to be. In many places it seems more like this.
Video – Black Friday
That is video from Black Friday at a Walmart this year. Great way to start Christmas, huh?
That is crazy. This is supposed to be a time of celebration of the birth of Christ, but the season has turned into a season of getting the best deal, of fighting for door busters, of stress of what to buy someone.
Something doesn’t seem right about this.
For most of our culture, we have lost the focus of what Christmas is all about and even for many in the church, for Christians who claim to follow Christ, many have followed the culture and Christ and Christmas are no longer connected, but instead it is all about what we give and what we get.
If we as the church expect to have an influence on our culture, we have got to stop this slide, at least in the church.
How can we do that?
How can we
Keep Christ in Christmas?
Well, over the next 3 weeks we are going to talk through some practical steps to help us stay focused on Christ, so that we don’t let the stress and the craziness of what the world has made this into creep into our lives, and so we can truly celebrate and worship the Christ of Christmas.
We are going to be talking about
how we truly Worship Christ,
how we can celebrate his birth by giving more even as we spend less, and
how we can truly love like Christ has loved us.
One of the things we are going to be doing this Christmas is taking a special Christmas offering from now until Christmas.
Not looking to be another item on the list
We are not looking for this to be an added cost to you this Christmas.
Instead, we seriously want you to think about what you are spending and
perhaps buy one less gift for those you buy multiple thing for, or
spending less on everyone or
instead of buying something, make something,
and use those resources toward this special offering.
This Christmas offering will be used to help several different areas.
We will be sending some of these resources to help out those devastated by the Typhoon in the Philippines. They have a very long road ahead of them in clean up and we want to be able to support those who are helping the need and using the opportunity to share the gospel, so we will be giving some resources to Samaritan’s Purse which is on the ground there.
Part of the offering will be used to help those devastated by the tornadoes in Illinois a few weeks ago. We are going to be giving to a church that is at the fore front of helping the families in Washington, IL
Part of the offering will be used to help those in need locally and in our church through our benevolence fund
Ecuador Mission Effort
And part of the resources will be used to support our missions efforts in Ecuador.
So I want to encourage you to be pray about what the Lord would have you give.
But today, I want us to take a step toward putting Christ back in Christmas or take a stand to help keep Christ in Christmas for those of us here.
And if we are going to Keep Christ in Christmas, then we have to truly Worship Christ.
Worship does not equal Music
Now, when most people hear the word worship, they immediately think of singing.
While that is one way we express our worship, worship is so much more and is something that comes from within, in our spirit and true worship is something that is lived out moment by moment in our actions.
So, this morning, in celebration of Christmas, we are going to look at several people involved at the first Christmas and see what their worship entailed so that we might learn how to Worship Christ fully this Christmas to help us Keep Christ in Christmas.
Turn with me to Matthew 1:18-25.
We are first going to take a look at Joseph and see how he responded to and worshiped Christ so we might learn better how we too might worship Christ.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.