Sunday Morning Dec 18, 2011

Posted by Sherry

IS CHRISTMAS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR?

Luke 2:1-7

CBC 12/18/2011 SM

According to Andy Williams, it’s the most wonderful time of the year...

It's the most wonderful time of the year

With the kids jingle belling

And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"

It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the hap-happiest season of all

With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings

When friends come to call

It's the hap- happiest season of all


There'll be parties for hosting

Marshmallows for toasting

And caroling out in the snow

There'll be scary ghost stories

And tales of the glories of

Christmases long, long ago


It's the most wonderful time of the year

There'll be much mistltoeing

And hearts will be glowing

When loved ones are near

It's the most wonderful time of the year


1IN THOSE days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole [a]Roman empire should be registered.

2This was the first enrollment, and it was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3And all the people were going to be registered, each to his own city or town.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

5To be enrolled with Mary, his espoused ([b]married) wife, who was about to become a mother.(A)

6And while they were there, the time came for her delivery,

7And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn.

NOTICE 9 REASONS CHRISTMAS WAS NOT THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR:

#1: Decree: a rule of law, with the force of the law, issued by a head of state

  • not an option
    • can U fit in someone else’s orders this season?
    • most folks are busy as they can be
      • personal care
      • family care
      • work
      • schedule of events to attend
      • chores & to do list
      • don’t even mention “Great Commission”...
      • now add a “LAW” to register an Empire
        • not your idea
        • not a law you agree with
        • a law that uproots ur family
        • a law that doesn’t care about your schedule & life

#2: People were going: (the entire Empire)

        • to hometown
        • requires travel arrangements
        • requires unexpected finances
        • getting a parking spot
        • waiting in an endless line
        • encountering obnoxious people

#3: Joseph had to go:

  • Nazareth to Bethlehem
    • 80 miles
    • didn’t have car, motorcycle, scooter, go cart, air plane, train, helicopter...
    • Samaria between Galilee & Judea
    • much ill feeling between Jews & Samaritians
    • risk of attack
    • couldn’t expect “light to be left on” for you (no hospitality)
    • could take long way around (over Jordan river twice)

#4: Mary was about to be a mother:

  • last trimester
    • weight gain
    • nutritional needs (more calories)
    • emotional issues
    • ideal conditions: at home, safe, secure, with family, close to family doctor...
    • reality: 80 mile trip, hostile territory, no family, no doctor,

#5: Delivery:

  • don’t forget the curse from the beginning
  • Gen. 3:16To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children.
    • God’s timing is not always our choice of timing

#6: Firstborn:

  • never done this before
    • life will never be the same
    • plenty of questions
    • another mouth to feed
    • added expenses to the family budget

#7: Swaddling clothes:

  • def: strips of cloth wrapped around a newborn infant to hold its legs and arms still
    • purpose to restrict movements
    • ? Do we still have Jesus in “Swaddling Clothes”?
    • Do we try to restrict his movements...
      • in our mind
      • our daily life
      • our finances
      • our emotions
      • our schedule and calendar
      • our desires

#8: Manger:

  • a feed trough for animals
    • not as sanitary as a hospital nursery
    • not as fancy as a bassinet
    • not as comfortable as a baby bed
    • not as fun as a play pen w/ mobiles...

#9: No room in the inn:

  • Jesus born in homeless conditions
    • didn’t have a car, overpass or cardboard box
    • all the glory of a barn...
      • smell of animal & animal waste
      • dust and dirt
      • animal food (rats in corn crib...)
      • no privacy

CONCL:

So why do we get the idea the Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year?

Biblically they were some pretty tough times, even for Jesus.

Sadly suicide rate is higher around Thanksgiving & Christmas than any time of the year.

Our “culture”, songs & stories, have conditioned us to believe that this is the “most wonderful time” of the year & in TRUTH...it never has been.

We are a “materialistic” society that pouts when...

  • we don’t get what we want
  • or things don’t go the way we want them to go

It didn’t start off “wonderful” for Jesus and certainly didn’t get any better w/ the crucifixion looming in his future...

  • did He quit?
  • have a nervous breakdown?
  • attempt suicide?
    • No, he made a way to SAVE THE WORLD
    • What are you doing this Christmas that’s SIGNIFICANT?

6pm service: “COPING WITH CHRISTMAS”


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