Let’s Celebrate a Christian Christmas

13 12 2007

By Pastor Norman S. Lao

Text: Matthew 1:18-25

Introduction: Christmas may mean different things to different people, but here are some things we need to remember to make our Christmas a truly Christian celebration. I say this because many our Christmas celebrations today has so little to do with Christ.

1. Remember the Celebrant.

Many times we are so preoccupied with the celebration that we forget the celebrant. The Celebrant is more important than the celebration because the Celebrant is the cause for the celebration.

Jesus is the Center of Christmas:

a. The Old Testament prophets predicted his coming.

b. The Angel Gabriel announced His arrival.

c. The Angelic host sang a chorus for Him.

d. The brightest star marked His presence.

e. The Wise men came to worship Him.

f. The Shepherds came to honor Him.

g. The Priests knew from the Scripture that He was coming.

h. Jerusalem was troubled at His coming.

i. Even King Herod looked for Him.

Jesus is the center of Christmas! Jesus is the reason for the season. Christ is Christmas.

That’s why, when we make other things as the center of Christmas, it is no longer Christmas we are celebrating.

We should not forget that Christmas is only the stage and the Main Character is Jesus and everybody else are just supporting characters, and everything else is just props.

2. Do not be caught up with the trappings, the trimmings and the wrappings of the Occasion.

Sometimes Christmas is wrapped up in so much wrapper and tinsel and ribbons that the real meaning of the celebration is lost, the real message is lost. For many it becomes a meaningless and expensive celebration.

· Christmas is a time to appreciate what God has done for us in Christ. Time for thanksgiving. Time for remembering God’s goodness.

· Christmas is a time for selfevaluation. Evaluate yourself in the light of what God has done. It is significant that Christmas is at the end of the year.

· Christmas is a time for forgiving since God in Christ has forgiven us. We should also forgive others.

· Christmas is a time for peace. A time for reconciliation. It is interesting to note that no major war was ever fought on December 25.

· It is a time of hope. In very cold countries everything “dies” in winter. December 25 is considered as the longest night. Christ as a symbol of hope was placed there!!!

3. Remember that Christmas is not about taking, but about giving.

John 3:16 is a Christmas message and it has something to do with God giving his only Son to the world.

Christmas becomes more meaningful when we give than when we expect to receive.

Rules for giving:

a. Give with the right motive. Not all giving is correctly motivated. Someone has correctly observed that “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”

b. Give without expecting any return (that’s why exchanging gifts is not a proper practice = it is just like buying a gift for yourself; and many complain why it seems less expensive than what they gave; it is forced – not spontaneous; there is no virtue because you know a gift will come your way, too!). Luke 6:34 principle.

c. Give to those who cannot repay you. (Luke 14:14)

d. Give only what you can afford. Do not go into debt. You can give something inexpensive.

e. You cannot give to everybody. Do not force yourself.

f. There are other more important things to give than money. Giving does not mean money or material things. Forgiveness is a very good gift. Give love on Christmas day.

g. Do not be cheap. Illustration: A woman who bought a box of cards because it was cheap. 50 cards in a box. After she sent about 47 cards she read the message inside: “This simple card goes to you to tell you that a small gift is following.” When God gave us the Christmas gift, it was his best and most expensive.

4. Remember that Christmas should not only be in December.

It is interesting that in the history of the church Christmas was celebrated in many different months starting in 98 AD. It was celebrated in August, September, April, and in December. But it was most frequently celebrated in January. We do not know when Jesus was really born. The important thing is that HE WAS BORN.

The “Christmas Spirit” should not begin and end in December. But we must understand what the “Christmas Spirit” is. For some it is the urge to buy or shop, it is the feeling of celebration, it is the feeling of generosity, a feeling of hope.

Conclusion: December 25 used to be a pagan date. It is the longest night and the covens and the witches frolicked in it. But Christianity redeemed it. Christianity overcame it. Christmas, in another way of looking at it, especially in relation to December 25, is the victory of Christianity over paganism and witchcraft. May we not return to paganism in our Christmas celebration. May we celebrate a Christian Christmas this Christmas.

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