64 results found

Rediscover the Story

December 24, 2022 | Luke 2:1-14 | christmas

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Everyone loves a story. And the best stories are worth telling over and over again.

What story are you telling yourself this Christmas. Is it a story about your past? Past mistakes you’ve made? Past hurts you’ve experienced? Or maybe it’s today’s story? So many of us get discouraged and even depressed at this time of year. Maybe there’ll be an empty seat at the Christmas dinner table this year? You’ve lost a loved one and Christmas won’t be the same? Or maybe it’s because we’re telling ourselves the wrong story. What if there’s a better story? In Luke’s gospel, an angel of the Lord invited the shepherds to come and be part of Christ’s story. The Lord still invites us to be part of Christ’s story.

Rediscover the Worship

December 18, 2022 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

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What is worship? It’s whatever you value or love the most. It’s what you spend your time, talent and treasure for as your greatest source of significance and security. That’s worship. It’s whatever or whoever you ascribe the greatest worth to. Ironically Christmas might be the most difficult time of the year to truly worship God because we are tempted to put more of our affections on material things and spending money.

Don’t you feel the tension? Don’t you feel the pressure to spend more money than you have in order to give your kids everything on their list? You want everyone to be happy and you want to be happy, so you spend, spend, spend… And the more you spend, the less it feels like Christmas. Or what it’s supposed to mean. In the gospel of Matthew, the story of the birth of Jesus is told within the political backdrop of the times. From the beginning there was a battle between worshiping the true King and the false king Herod that had 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.

Rediscover the Mystery

December 11, 2022 | John 1:1-18 | christmas

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Do you have sense of mystery this Christmas season? Or have you lost the sense of mystery you had as a child? Wouldn’t you like to rediscover the sense of mystery this Christmas?

Some of life’s greatest mysteries have to do with origins. Like the origin of the universe, or the origin of life, or of intelligence. But why would we consider such mysteries at Christmas? The gospel according to John opens up with one of the most amazing and mysterious prologues in the Bible. For in John’s gospel, he revealed the mystery that Jesus Christ was the Son of God come in the flesh. We can rediscover the mystery of Christmas by considering what John revealed about Jesus.

Rediscover the Anticipation

December 4, 2022 | Isaiah 9:1-7 | christmas

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Do you feel a sense of anticipation as Christmas approaches? For many, Christmas has become just another secular holiday, albeit the biggest of all holidays. But rather than having a sense of happy anticipation, some have a sense of dread or complacency. But remember when we were children? Christmas was so mysterious and wonderful then. Wouldn’t you love to rediscover the anticipation of Christmas?

What’s your perspective on Christmas this year? Has inflation limited your Christmas giving? Maybe you lost your job and don’t know how to have Christmas for your family this year? Perhaps you recently lost a loved one and there’ll be an empty seat at your Christmas dinner this year? Or your family has gone through a divorce and Christmas has gotten too complicated? Or maybe all the focus on shopping and spending has sapped your joy? I have good news. There’s a better way. Let’s rediscover Christmas together this year!

In Isaiah 9, the prophet proclaimed a word from the Lord concerning the coming of the long anticipated Messiah. We can rediscover the anticipation of Christmas by looking back in faith at Christ’s partial fulfillment of that prophecy by His first coming and looking forward in hope for His soon return.

A Simple Story

December 19, 2021 | Luke 2:1-20 | christmas

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Don’t you feel the tug towards something more simple? The Christmas season has become so chaotic and busy. Don’t you long for less chaos and more meaning? Something less fleeting and more lasting? Don’t you think Christians ought to know how to celebrate Christmas best? It seems that the world should be at our door at this season, but we’ve lost our distinctiveness. We’ve joined the world’s celebration instead of inviting them to ours.

Let’s go against the consumer Christmas culture this year by focusing less on giving presents and more on being present. Let’s get back to the simple story about Jesus.

A Simple Response

December 12, 2021 | Luke 1:26-38 | christmas

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Every invitation deserves an RSVP, a response. Christmas invites us to respond to this word: the Son of God, the Savior, Christ Jesus has come. And He is coming again. This is what we mean when we speak of this Christmas season, this season of Advent. The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” Advent speaks of the incarnation and the return of Christ Jesus. He has appeared and will appear again.

How will you respond? People respond in different ways. Some come to faith immediately. Some reject believing outright. Some go through a long season of searching and stumbling before finally believing, while still others remain skeptical or even apathetic their whole lives. Don’t you wish you knew how to respond?

Let’s look at the story of Mary’s simple response of faith to God’s Word to consider our response.

A Simple Invitation

December 5, 2021 | John 3:16-18 | christmas

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The Christmas season has become one of the busiest and most expensive times of the year. Retailers spend millions every year inviting us to spend our time and money at their special Christmas sales events. The sales “invitations” from retailers to spend our money with them fill our newspapers and mailboxes every Christmas, but now they increasingly fill our email boxes and social media.

How many of you long for something simpler? What if there were a simpler invitation that you could RSVP this year? What if we could say yes to a simple invitation to spend less and love more. To feel less exhausted and overwhelmed and more filled with a life better than we’ve ever dreamed of? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today… God’s simple invitation to believe in His Son.

A Genuine Light

December 20, 2020 | Luke 2:1-20 | christmas

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Like Charlie Brown, when we make Christmas about something other than the coming of Christ, we’ll always be disappointed. If we make it about spending money and giving and receiving gifts, sure we might be happy for a day. But the bill for the gifts we put on our credit cards in December, come due in January. After the gifts, the food and the fun, there’s the cleanup and the packing away of Christmas decorations and lights. Our holiday festivities that we looked so forward to, always quickly come to end. Where’s the meaning? Where’s the joy that lasts for more than a day?

The answer is only found in understanding the true meaning of Christmas, by seeing the Genuine Light of Christmas found in the coming of Jesus Christ.

A Glorious Light

December 13, 2020 | John 1:1-18 | christmas

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Do you ever feel alone? Christmas is just around the corner, and for many people that means family, fun, and a few days spent in the company of the people we love. Except that, for some of us, Christmas time represents none of these things. For some, it will be a time of loneliness, trauma and great anguish. Many of us will spend this Christmas grieving for the people we’ve said goodbye to since last year. The parents we’ve lost. The friends. The children. Others may be reminded of insurmountable fractures in their familial relationships – the people we no longer speak to, the parties we can no longer in good conscience attend.

How can we experience the true light of Christmas this year? A light that overcomes our broken hearts and broken relationships? The apostle John tells us that Jesus came to light up our lives, so that we might know and be made right with God the Father. Jesus offers to be the Light of your life!

A Great Light

December 6, 2020 | Isaiah 9:1-2,6-7 | christmas

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Understanding the true meaning of Christmas begins by understanding and admitting the darkness of our world. Not the darkness of winter’s short days, but the darkness of ignorance and evil, suffering and pain, fear and anxiety, dark despair and gloomy grief. These and more describe what the Bible means by “darkness.”

It’s not enough to recognize the darkness in our world, nor is it enough to think you can brighten it through your own good intentions and efforts. In fact, this is the very reality that the Light of Christmas reveals: That we not only live in a dark world, but we have a darkness in our souls that cannot be enlightened without a Light from outside ourselves, a Great Light that could overcome our soul’s darkness. In Isaiah 9, he encouraged the people of Israel with a Messianic prophecy of a Son who was to be born as a great light that would overcome the world’s darkness. We can believe that the great Light that overcomes the world’s darkness has come in the person of Jesus.