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Why Celebrate Christmas?

Why Celebrate Christmas?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:58
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Why Celebrate Christmas?

Why Celebrate the Birth of Jesus?

What is there to celebrate about? People go to great lengths this time of year to rearrange their home in order to make room for the countless boxes of decorations that have been stored all year. Spending hours covering their homes with all sorts of colors and lights. With all the of the commercialized encouragement to splurge and spend, the anticipation and disappointment of that gift that wasn’t obtained. How easy is it to loose sight of the purpose and simplicity of the reason we celebrate Christmas. Should there be more to our celebration than simply giving our kids and each other stuff. I want to share with you this morning three reasons that this event is worth celebrating.

The Focal Point of History

The birth of Jesus marks the focal point of history from BC to AD. This event was first mentioned in Genesis after the fall when, through Adam, sin and death entered the world but God had a plan.
Genesis 3:15 ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Genesis 12:1–3 ESV
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Isaiah 7:14 ESV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6–7 ESV
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Numbers 24:17 ESV
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.
Micah 5:2–4 ESV
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.
I just picked out a few verses that point to a great event. The prophets were given clues and wrote them down over the centuries until the time was right.
Galatians 4:4 ESV
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
It was such a significant event that some magi, these were men from the far east that studied the stars and they followed a star to Bethlehem.
Matthew 2:2 ESV
saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
They came to worship and bring gifts to the King of the Jews. We all celebrate the births of our own children and each year celebrate the years growth. I am not a fan of singing Happy Birthday to Jesus but does it make sense to acknowledge His birth after all this was a very special beginning.

The Incarnation

Matthew 1:20–23 ESV
But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Luke 1:26–35 ESV
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And 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 bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to 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.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
vs. 35 “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy - the Son of God.” The Most High put this baby in the womb of Mary this was His Son.
Also our scripture reading this morning if you remember
John 1:14 ESV
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
He was the holy Son of God but He was also the son of Mary. This is the “Incarnation”, In the flesh is what the word means, and in this case it is God in the flesh.
Hebrews 2:14–15 ESV
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
This is the first and last time that God entered the world of man as a man. His reason for coming was to rescue us from ourselves. We were the reason that He came.
The church father Athanasius put it this way:
“For of His becoming Incarnate we were the object, and for our salvation He dealt so lovingly as to appear and be born even in a human body.”
Paul further explains the need for a man to save mankind since it was through a man that sin entered into the world.
Romans 5:12–21 ESV
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through one man’s disobedience sin entered the world and death followed. But also through one man’s obedience the debt of sin was paid and the anti death is freely given to all men.
Who doesn’t like presents? In this passage Paul uses the phrase “free gift”. He starts out by comparing what it’s not like and how it is the best gift ever. It really reminds me of how I get sometimes, just filled with anticipation of a gift that I have given or I know what it is and can’t wait for that person to open it and to see the look of surprise and delight on their face. That’s how we should be when we talk about the greatest gift of all that out weights any gift that can be purchased.
Paul in the same way finally reveals the gift in
Romans 6:23 ESV
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is a huge part of the energy and greatness of the season. All too often it gets lost in all of the fluff and pomp and indulgence that the world pushes at us starting in late August it seems. But setting that aside and celebrating the event of the God child and talking about His purpose for coming is a great way to “share the hope that is within you”. What greater time to talk and be merry than to talk about the One that brought us the free gift of eternal life. Sharing that reason and purpose with our children, family and friends should be just natural this time of year. Tis the Season, so to say.

He is the Light

One of my favorite things about this time of year is al the lights. Who intentionally goes out to see the houses that are decorated with hundreds even thousands of lights? We do almost every year. The kids love it. What is it about this time of year? What is so special about the lights? The lights should remind us of Jesus. If they don’t, then you’re missing out. Jesus is the light of the world.
The lights remind us that in such a time of darkness God sent His son to be the light that darkness can not overcome. In our passage in John He talks about the light.
vs. 5 “the light shines in the darkness.”
vs. 7-8 “John came to bear witness about the light.”
vs. 9 “the true light, which gives light to everyone”
John 8:12 ESV
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
So when you see the lights of the tree on your house or around town, think of how Jesus the light of the world and be a light as well. Isn’t that part of our purpose here?
Philippians 2:14–15 ESV
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
So enjoy the lights.
Be a light.
Celebrate the light of the world coming to be with us and bringing with Him the light of Hope, Faith, Joy, Peace… and especially Salvation.
Is there reason to celebrate Christmas? Yes! It can be such a great time to give hope to someone who may feel hopeless. It’s a great time to be a light to those around you. Talk about the global impact that a baby had. Tell others of the great gift of eternal life that is available to all who believe.
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