Faithlife Sermons

ES015 What is Christmas Carols by candlelight 2017

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491 O come all ye faithful

Luke 2:1–20 NKJV
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. 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. 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.” 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!” 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. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.


714 Unto us a boy is born

John 1:1–14 NKJV
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. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 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: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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.
What is Christmas?
Christmas has been celebrated on December 25th since the year 334 - that’s a long time! It started 12 years after the Roman Emperor Constantine abolished the festival of the Invincible Sun. It was a natural progression that the festival that celebrated the sun overcoming darkness becoming a Christian festival celebrating the one who is called the Light of the World.
Listen to what the angels said to the shepherds:
Luke 2:10 NET
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people:
God has given a gift to the people of the world because he loves everyone. A gift? What is it? Light. Light? Yes, the light of the world. The Light’s name is Jesus. God from God and Light from Light. He was born into this world to give light to all people.
It is good news because to people in darkness for they need light. Why are some in darkness? It is not down to the fact that we are only seeing by candlelight this evening. It is because we all need to receive the One called the Light of the world.
Jesus came to give light to our lives so that we could see the way. Our darkness hides God from us; a darkness called sin. But the light of the world came so that He would come in and throw out the darkness. Darkness is always defeated when there is light.
Many who are in darkness want to just carry on that way because they love it the way it is; they love sin that keeps them in darkness – sin separates us from God - what is sin? Sin are all the things that we have done wrong in heart, mind and action or those things we should have done but didn’t. Sin is like an inherited disease and we are born in it but we don’t have to stay in it for those who receive the light become children of the light.
Because God is light, brilliant light, unapproachable light, light so white the moment but we are all in darkness. Because sin is so offensive to God who is holy the only sentence is death.
One day the One born as Light of the world had His lights put out. The light who had come into the world as a child at Christmas was rejected and put to death. While Jesus was dying darkness came over the whole land for 3 hours. In a mysterious way he took upon himself all our darkness; that is, all our sin and as a result died.
You see, God gave His Son at Christmas to solve a problem. We cannot switch on our light, but He can but only if we will receive this good news.
Three days after dying on the cross Jesus rose from the dead defeating darkness; defeating sin; defeating death. Now he wants to do an exchange with you. You give him your darkness…and he will give you his light. You give him your sin and he will give you his righteousness – that means He will make you right with God. FOREVER. Sounds like a great deal, a great gift, a great present to receive at Christmas.
What is Christmas? It is the good news that Jesus came to give us light and life. Without him we stay in darkness, forever. God showed his love to us by giving the greatest gift anyone has ever or can ever receive.
His love for you is so great, so big for you...he has done everything possible for you to start again and have a new life where there is no more guilt for sin and no more fear of death.
Do you want to start again? Do you want to have a new life? Three basic things are required:
a. We accept the gift of Jesus into our lives.
b. We believe and trust Jesus with our lives.
c. We confess our sin to Him and confess that He is the One you will now live for.
In exchange he will make you right with God so that you can become part of the family of God forever. Friends, God has done everything for us to be in the light rather than staying in darkness. If we stay in darkness, then we reject Jesus. This Christmas choose the Light of the World who came as a baby, died and rose again and one day will come again in awesome power and light because He is Judge of all. And the question asked by God will be: What did you do with Jesus this Christmas 2017?
What is Christmas? It is all about Jesus. ‘Jesus is for life, not just for Christmas’. Christmas is just the beginning.
Now, I want to give you the opportunity to be able to say to God: I asked Jesus into my life at Christmas 2017. So, I am going to pray a prayer to help those who want Jesus to be their light who have never asked him to do this before. And if you have already asked Jesus into your life now is the time to rededicate it to Him and you can also pray this prayer. All I ask is that you repeat each sentence after me with sincerity, together with everyone else here:
I know that I have broken your laws
and my sins,
my darkness has separated me from You.
I am truly sorry,
I want to turn to you
and turn away from my sinful life.
I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ,
was born,
died for my sins,
was resurrected from the dead,
is alive, and hears my prayer.
I invite you, Jesus,
to become the Lord and light of my life,
to rule and reign in my heart
from this day forward.
Please fill me with your Holy Spirit,
help me obey You,
and to do Your will for the rest of my life.
In Jesus' name I pray,
If this is the first time you have prayed a prayer like this please tell me after the service so we can pray for you and help you in your first steps as a disciple of Jesus.

Choir (2 Carols) 8

Matthew 1:18–25 NKJV
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

47 Away in a manger


'Twas the first night of Christmas a long time ago
The hillside was peaceful, the moon was aglow.
The world couldn't know from what happened before
That men would remember this night evermore.
The sheep on the hillside--their days journey over
Were dreaming sweet dreams of a field full of clover.
The shepherds were watchful while guarding their flock
The earth was their pillow, the stars were their clock.
Then all of a sudden, they jumped at the sight
Of the sky all ablaze with a heavenly light.
They huddled in fear, then they started to rise
As the lightening-like flash tore open the skies.
The heavens were split by the silvery ray.
The dark disappeared and the night became day.
And lo, at the end of the rainbow of light
Appeared then an angel to banish their fright.
The angel brought news of a birth in a manger
And bade them to hasten to welcome the stranger.
For Mary had just given birth to a boy
Whose coming would bring so much comfort and joy.
A choir of angels looked down from the sky
And heavenly voices were heard from on high:
Peace be on earth and good will to all men.
The Savior has come on this night, Amen.
The heavenly angels then faded from sight.
The sky once again turned from day to night.
The shepherds all quietly rose from the ground
And hurried to go where the child would be found.
As they reached Bethlehem and the inn was in sight
It led like a path to a soft little bed
And shone very tenderly on a child's head.
The child in the manger was sleeping so sound
His eyes were still closed, as the shepherds stood round.
Thousands of years would be warmed by the glow.
Guided by light from a bright shining star
Came a pilgrimage led of three kings from afar.
They were dressed in the finest of satins and lace.
Their complexions were that of an Orient race.
The three wealthy kings were wise men and proud
But they went to the Christ child and solemnly bowed.
They came bearing treasures of incense and gold
To that sweet little child, still not very old.
The star in the sky twinkled down from above
The world was awakened to kindness and love.
The past was forgotten, the future was bright
And the spirit of Christmas was born on that night.

Concluding Remarks

211 Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Benediction & Mince Pies

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