Faith 12/13/18

By Pastor Donald Parker

Christmas is almost here! The feeling is in the air! The lights, the trees, the parade, the school programs, the parties, the music, the cards, the gifts, the shopping, time with friends and family! Christmas is everywhere and literally being celebrated all around the world.

All of these things that surround the Christmas season are exciting and there’s really nothing wrong with any of them in themselves, but Christmas is actually about so much more! The problem however, is sometimes because of some of the things just mentioned; we can find ourselves so wrapped up with all the stuff surrounding Christmas, that we often miss the purpose of Christmas.

What we need to remember is Christmas was God’s idea, God’s plan. God planned Christmas with one clear purpose in mind; YOU! God created Christmas and on that very first Christmas morning, God sent the greatest gift ever for all humanity and that includes YOU!

Luke 2:8-14 says, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

The good news that would bring great joy to everyone was the birth of Jesus Christ. In this passage of Scripture, we find something interesting. God chose the least of all the cities, a small village named Bethlehem, about five southwest of Jerusalem to be the place where His Son would be born; but God didn’t stop there. He also chose the least of society that being the shepherds, to be the first eye witnesses of His Son’s birth. The birth of Christ, his location, wasn’t in a big city, in a palace; instead, a small town in a barn. The first eyewitnesses weren’t kings and the political elite, instead just dirty, stinky, shepherds. God’s Christmas gift, his Son, proves he sent his Son not for a few select groups of people, but instead, for all people, including YOU!

The Christmas story my friend, proves that God loves you. That my friend is really good news; news of great joy for everyone! The Bible makes it very clear just how much God loves you; just how much you matter to Him. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Every time you read the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth, you need to flip over and read John 3:16. The birth of Jesus, Christmas, was God’s idea and John 3:16 proves to us that God’s purpose for Christmas was all about you and me!

If you look back at the passage of Scripture it says, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” God’s plan, his purpose for Christmas was to send you a Savior to save you from your sins. Matthew 1:20b-21: The angel said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

The name Jesus means “the Lord is salvation.” or “Savior.” That’s why we celebrate Christmas. That’s the good news of Christmas. The good news of great joy for all the people! God sent you the greatest Christmas gift ever; His Son, Jesus to save you from your sins. No other gift can do that, all you have to do is accept God’s gift to you.

Christmas was God’s idea and he planned it because he thought of You! He created you to love you and desires you to love him back. Don’t let another Christmas go by with you leaving God’s gift to you unwrapped. Take it, open your heart and receive God’s Son as your Savior. The greatest gift you will ever receive that comes with the promise of forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven for all eternity. Now that’s a reason to celebrate!

FBC would like to invite everyone in the community to our (free) Christmas Musical program Sunday evening Dec. 16 beginning at 5pm titled “Believe” followed with our Live Nativity, hayride, cookies and hot chocolate. FBC Van Horn, A Place to Belong!