Christmas Eve 2022
Christmas Eve 2022
Hope Has a Name
Hope Has a Name
I promised you guys that I wasn’t going to take up too much of your time tonight, but God has really placed in on my heart to share a message with you.
We are going to begin the message by reading Isaiah 9:1-7.
Hear the Word of the Lord
1 Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations. 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. The people have rejoiced before you as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. 4 For you have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as you did on the day of Midian. 5 For every trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
Hope for the Hopeless
Hope for the Hopeless
The Israelites were in a state of hopelessness.
They were in captivity.
They were being oppressed, depressed, and hard pressed by those who conquered them.
But God doesn’t want them to feel hopeless.
So he sends a prophet to tell them that hope has a name.
That there is hope for the hopeless.
If we are honest about it, this time of year can bring about a ton of different emotions.
We see on the television and hear on the radio that this is a time to celebrate family and friends. This is a time to be excited about the gifts others are going to give us.
This is a time when all should be right in our lives, but what if it isn’t.
What if this holiday season brings Thoughts and feelings of pain, suffering, or isolation.
What if you feel lonely because you don’t have anyone to share the holiday with.
What if you feel a stab of pain because you lost someone that really matters to you and this is your first Christmas without them.
What if you feel like the world is out to get you and your family?
You feel crippled by debt.
You don’t have 2 nickels to rub together.
Insurance is driving you absolutely crazy b/c they don’t want to cover your expenses.
What if you are struggling with feelings of insignificance.
A meaningless life.
What if you look and all you can see is pain, suffering, and a meaningless existence.
Simply put, What if this doesn’t feel like the season to be jolly?
What if your mad, sad, confused, and frustrated? At people? At circumstances? Or even at God?
What if you feel hopeless?
Then you can identify with the Israelites.
Hopelessness is born out of uncertainty.
You are uncertain about how you will make ends meet.
You’re uncertain about the test results.
You’re uncertain about how you can get out of this seemingly unending spiral of tragedy.
You are uncertain about what the future holds.
You are lost in the darkness of despair and hopelessness.
To overcome this sense of hopelessness you don't need an answer, you need THE ANSWER.
You won’t find The Answer in books, relationships, social media, friends, more money, etc.
They may temporarily satisfy your hopelessness.
And they may help you through a season of hopelessness, but I guarantee another one will come just around the corner if you don’t have THE ANSWER.
The Answer came when God Put on flesh and came to live among us.
The Story begins when God visits a young woman name Mary.
26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” 35 The angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 “See, I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. 2 This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, 5 to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors! 15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. 17 After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.
Hope has a Name
Hope has a Name
And his name is Jesus
The Gospel of John puts it this way
Jn 1:14 “14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Jn 1:16-17 “16 Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, 17 for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
The Answer, the only answer, is the immeasurable grace, love, and hope of Jesus.
Jesus gives us hope.
He gives us the hope to endure.
He gives us the hope to continue. He gives us the hope to look at our difficulties straight in the eye and echo with the apostle Paul, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Jesus tells us that he comes to bring us peace
Jn 14:27 “27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.”
Jesus won’t necessarily take away the difficulty, but he gives up hope and peace to face the difficulty.
We hear people say God will never give you more than you can handle and that is false.
The truth is he will never give you more than he can handle.
Jesus came to remedy our worst problem: separation from God.
Now if you believe in him you have access to his strength, love, and mercy. And with the access you also have hope.
This hope began when God made a promise to send the one that would restore our relationship with him.
And through many generations, God continued to keep his promise.
And it all came to a head when this child was born in a manger.
When he left his heavenly home and came to live amongst the people that would reject him.
When he humbly submitted himself to a torturous death for ungrateful people.
And when he rose again to show his conquering over death.
There is only one absolute certainty that we can place our hope in and that is the Amazing Love of Jesus Christ.
He is the reason we celebrate this holiday.
He is the one that can make sense out of the chaos.
He is the one that can satisfy your aching soul.
He is the light that dispels the darkness.
And one day he will come again and complete the work he started. Praise the Lord!
We look forward to the day When He Comes Again!
And this evening we are going to celebrate the Lord’s coming and anticipate his return.
We are going to do that by participating in the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is a special time of reflection and anticipation.
We look back on what Jesus did.
He emptied himself, came and lived the perfect life, died in our place, and rose again to verify his victory over sin and death.
The Lord’s supper is only for Christians.
Only for those that have been made Sons and Daughters of the King.
This happens through repentance of sin and submission to God.
If you have never repented of your sin and submitted your life to God then we would ask that you refrain from the Lord’s Supper.
But we do hold out to you something greater than these elements.
We want you to embrace the grace of Jesus.
Respond to his prompting.
Respond to his calling.
He is calling out to you will you answer him?
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.