Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Without Christ



"When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.” Luke 2:15-16 
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     As we approach Christmas, I fondly reflect on my childhood memories of the holidays. I can think back to my earliest recollection of Christmas. Momma had told me to go on to bed so I could get ready for Santa Clause “to walk”, as they used to call it. I remember lying on the very edge of my twin bed so I could see down to the hallway at the sparkling lights on our tree. Every other light in the house was off, and the tree was really glowing. The combination of the lights, the smell of our live tree that daddy brought off the farm, and the nervous anticipation of waiting for Santa Clause was one of the most magical feelings I have ever experienced. The only problem was, for me at that time…there was no Christ in my Christmas. Sure I had heard the story of the Baby Jesus in the manger; even heard Linus on the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon tell the story from the Book of Luke. But Jesus was not the focus of my festivities. There was Santa Clause, a tree, gifts, food, and family…but no Christ. 

     Is it possible to have Christmas without Christ? I mean apart from the name; obviously you can’t spell the word Christmas without the name Christ. But I mean the event…the celebration…the holiday. Can you have Christmas without Christ as the focus? As ludicrous as the question sounds, if you stand back and look at our society, it looks like that’s exactly what people are attempting to do. We pile up gifts and food and festivities and shopping and…more food and days off from work so high that it’s hard to find Christ in Christmas. Now it’s the politically correct thing to say “Happy Holidays”, instead of “Merry Christmas” so as to not offend non-Christians. Heaven forbid we honor what actually is Christ-Mas!
     
     So it’s makes me wonder how many people could care less whether He came or not; whether they have a Christ for Christmas or not. So what if he didn’t come? What if the shepherds found an empty manger? They would have just gone back to their flock of sheep; but would it make a difference in your life?

     Well, whether it would matter to you or not, and I hope it does, it would make all the difference to the whole world. A Christmas without Christ would mean that the Bible  is false and the world would be lost. Which is why I am glad that the manger was not empty. There, born on that day in the City of David, was Christ the Lord. Our savior was born and He still lives. I have believed Him and received Him, and it has made all the difference for all of eternity.

      I pray that on this year, you won’t be having a Christmas without Christ.

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