MESSAGE DELIVERED: DECEMBER 18, 2016
Here’s the story of Jesus, in the words of that old familiar song, this IS one of the most wonderful times of the year.
It IS, truth, it’s a time for old friends and family to get together and share the warmth of the season. It’s a time for exchanging gifts and recalling the beautiful memories of Christmases that have gone by, and good times that we shared back then. And then to look ahead to the good times yet to come.
And as we gather around the beautifully decorated tree and we bask in the glow of what we call the Christmas spirit…and that’s good…that’s great…because Christmas IS the time for doing all those things. But it’s also much more. It the time when God completely demonstrated His love for us, by giving us His Son.
And the Son demonstrated His love for us, by giving up all the glories and splendor of His rightful place in Heaven, in coming down here at the Father’s request to become one of us. In that incredible night so long ago, the awesome majesty of Jehovah God Himself was born into the world that He had created, to show us how to live…to show us how to love. And ultimately, to make it possible for us, poor lost sinful people to gain for ourselves all the glories that He gave up on that silent Holy Night, so long ago.
So for us to truly appreciate the Christmas season, we need to look again at that Christmas story. So please listen as the beautiful old story unfolds from the pages of God’s Holy Word.
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women’! But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end’.” (Luke 1:26-33)
[Choir Music: “Angels We Have Heard On High”]
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.” (Luke 2:1-5)
[Choir Music: “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”]
“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7)
[Choir Music: “Away In A Manger”]
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger’.” (Luke 2:8-12)
[Choir Music: “Hark! The Herold Angels Sing”]
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men’!” (Luke 2:13-14)
[Choir Music: “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”]
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us’. And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:15-18)
[Choir Music: “What Child Is This?”]
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him’.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
[Choir Music: “We Three Kings”]
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5)
[Choir Music: “Silent Night”]
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” (John 1:10-12)
[Choir Music: “Joy To The World”]
“Now to Him who is able to keep you[f] from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)
[Choir Music: “Majesty”]
And you heard the story of Jesus Christ straight from the Word of God. Give the musicians and the voices a hand…
If somehow you have come to this time and this place, and you’ve never put your trust in Jesus Christ, the babe of Bethlehem who became the Lamb of God and died on the cross at Calvary; if you’ve never put your trust in Him…you do it now.
But if beloved, you are His…you’ve been saved by the blood of Calvary…please, especially at this time of year…as you go about your day and you come in contact with other people, tell them about how much God loves them. Tell them about the Majesty of God!