32 results found

White Christmas

December 10, 2017 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

What is it about this song “White Christmas” that stirs us so? Isn’t it the desire to have the perfect Christmas? To experience the wonder and expectation that we once felt as a child? Don’t you desire to have the perfect Christmas? Don’t you feel the pressure to make it happen? To spend more money than you have in order to give your kids everything on their list? You decorate your house. You cook and clean. Because you want a “White,” a “Perfect,” Christmas. This longing for wonder and beauty, this longing for the eternal is in every human heart. It’s what moves us to dream of something perfect and lasting. It’s what moves us to worship.

In the book of Matthew the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of the times. Jesus was the one prophesied to be King, but He came in the most unexpected way. And from the beginning there was a battle between His Kingdom and the false king that usurped His Throne. The challenge for us is to remove our worship from the false king and to put our worship on the true King, Jesus Christ. After all, it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Not ours.

Blue Christmas

December 3, 2017 | Luke 2:25-35 | christmas

Let’s be honest. While many are singing “Joy to the World” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” some are humming the blues. While houses and stores are all aglow with Christmas lights, some of us see only darkness and gloom. While the Christmas season beckons us to see everything in green and red, some of us see only blue.

Maybe a loved one has died and there’s an empty seat at the table this year. Maybe there’s been a divorce and Christmas brings back too many painful memories. Maybe your family is a dysfunctional mess and Christmas just reminds you of it. Maybe you’re feeling homesick for a home that’s too far away or maybe no longer there. Maybe you’re out of work and you don’t know how you’re going to pay for groceries, much less for Christmas gifts. Maybe there’s just something about the shorter days and the longer nights and the ongoing struggle you have with depression just seems worse at this time of year. Maybe, just as the song says, some of you will be “doing alright with your Christmas of white,” but others are looking at having “a blue, blue blue blue Christmas.”

Would you like to get some real help with the blues this Christmas? I think a fresh look at the Christmas story could help us all. Let’s look at Christmas through the eyes of an old man named Simeon. He waited his whole life to see the Messiah.

Giving good gifts at Christmas

December 22, 2016 | Christ, christmas, gifts, God, jesus

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11 (ESV) How do you celebrate Christmas? Decorations, lights, a tree, special foods and candies… I’m… Read more »

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

December 18, 2016 | Matthew 2:1-13 | christmas, movies, popular culture

We all know this Christmas classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! This children’s book was written in 1957 by Dr. Seuss. In 1966, an animated Christmas cartoon was released based on the story, and in 2000 a Ron Howard Film, starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch was released. But did you know that there really was a “Grinch” who tried to steal Christmas? His name was… King Herod.

A Christmas Carol

December 11, 2016 | John 3:16-18 | christmas, movies, popular culture

Several movies and plays have been based on Charles Dickens’ book, which was first published in London in 1843. The most recent movie version was by Disney featuring the voice-over of Jim Carrey. We learn in this movie that Scrooge doesn’t know how to “keep” Christmas until several spirits visit him and bring about a change of heart. But does the book and movie miss what it means to keep Christmas?

Elf

December 4, 2016 | Isaiah 9:1-7 | christmas, movies, popular culture

Elf is a classic because of the redemptive Christmas themes found in its story. Themes like: a baby boy that gets adopted, an otherworldly young man whose love and innocence cause him not to fit it anywhere, and a man named Walter who is on the “naughty list” and rejects his son. In the movie, Walter’s priorities are upside down, he puts his job and position ahead of his wife and kids, and he is angry and miserable. The story is really about Walter’s redemption by accepting his son.

The prophet Isaiah wrote of a Son that would be given to humanity that would be the Messiah bringing light to a sin-darkened world and establishing an eternal kingdom of peace in a world filled with chaos and brokenness. We can recognize and receive Jesus as this Son that was given to us to bring us out of darkness and into His kingdom of peace and light.

O Come All Ye Faithful

December 20, 2015 | John 1:1-14 | christmas

Christmas carols. All of us have our favorites. I don’t know what mood you’re in this Christmas. Perhaps because of this warm North Carolina weather you’re singing along with Bing Crosby: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” Or maybe you’re missing someone this Christmas and you’re humming along with Elvis: “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.” Whether it’s a white one or a blue one, there’s just something about Christmas that makes us want to sing.

When did all of this caroling begin? It was a little over 2,000 years ago when Christ was born and an angelic choir sang “Glory to God in the highest” to an audience of shepherds in Bethlehem. Faithful followers of Jesus have been singing ever since!