December 18, 2016
Old School Christmas
It is awesome going all out for Christmas, but in the same way that we are going back with our Christmas traditions, this series is also all about going back to the basics with Christmas itself.
Christmas is about Jesus! Christmas is all about remembering, and celebrating the day that God said, “enough is enough, I’m bringing my people back to me.”
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
This week we’re talking about what Christmas should mean for our Church. Internally, what does this holiday mean for our family (Living Faith).
That’s the danger of this season for us as a church: familiarity. So how do we keep this season from being too familiar? Too “normal”? How do we keep Jesus at the center as a church?
Christmas is a call to Refocus together
There are so many distractions this time of year. It’s our job as a church family to protect one another and challenge each other to push past the distractions and focus on Jesus.
“...Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you...” (Romans 15:7)
“...Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
“...Encourage each other...”(I Thessalonians 4:18, I Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:25)
“...Build each other up...” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
“...Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
“...Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
“Don’t grumble against each other...” (James 5:9)
“Confess your sins to each other...” (James 5:16)
“...Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
“...Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
“...Live in harmony with one another...” (I Peter 3:8)
“...Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
“Teach...one another” (Colossians 3:16)
“...Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
How are you doing as a member of this family at lovingly helping those sitting around you to pursue righteousness, holiness, and purpose in the Kingdom?
Christmas is a call to believe.
Believe: “to accept something as true, to feel sure of the truth of”
We stand out as we publicly and corporately choose to believe this Jesus who we are celebrating is more than a holiday. This baby changed everything.
Christmas is an opportunity to stand out.
We stand together for Christ in the midst of a world that often stands against Him.
“...Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
“...Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
“...Love one another” (John 13:34, John 13:35, John 15:12, John 15:17, I Thessalonians 4:9, I John 3:11, I John 3:23, I John 4:7, I John 4:11, I John 4:12, II John 5, I Peter 4:8, Romans 13:8, I Thessalonians 3:12, Romans 12:10)
“...Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
“Live in harmony with one another...” (Romans 12:16)
“...Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
“...Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
“Carry each other’s burdens...” (Galatians 6:2)
“Be kind and compassionate to one another...” (Ephesians 4:32)
“...Forgiving each other...” (Ephesians 4:32)
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
“...In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
“Do not lie to each other...” (Colossians 3:9)
“Bear with each other...” (Colossians 3:13)
“...Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve each other...” (I Peter 4:10)
“...Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another...”(I Peter 5:5)
So what impact does Christmas have on the church? It changes everything. This baby changes everything. Without Christ coming to earth, there IS no church. This moment in history literally changed everything. It’s not a cute story that we read once a year. This is the embodiment of the hope of eternal life—wrapped up in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.