Isaiah 9: 6-7 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
What is Christmas really about? A Child is born, thatís a nice thing. New Government, I guess we could use that. Peace, well thatís always nice. But none of these are the things one expects under a Christmas Tree. None of these things really explain what Christmas is all about.
The Children looked tonight at some of the symbols of Christmas, there are so many others. Often we forget what they symbolize, only remembering that thing look pretty. So many lights, we forget that they point the way of salvation in the midst of a deep darkness. Trees nicely decorated, we forget they are symbols of life everlasting in the midst of the dead of winter. Each year we need to tell again the old stories, so that we remember that all the things we do at Christmas point to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We need to remember that the first Christmas present given, was the one God gave to us in sending Jesus to the Bethlehem manger to be our savior. All the presents since then, have only been reminders of God great love in the gift of his son.
What is Christmas really about? Its about something for us. Something we need, something we canít live without. And the answer to what Christmas is really about is found in the reason WHY we need the gift of God in Jesus Christ. What Christmas is, is best seen in why we need a Savior.
And so it is that you canít talk about the real meaning of Christmas, without talking about sin. We know what sin is. Thereís stuff God wantís us to do, and stuff God wantís us not to do. Sin is when we do the wrong thing. Sin hurts our friends, our family, our neighbors, - and thatís bad enough - but sin also hurts each one of us, and it hurts God. Sin is kind of like sitting still in church, we know weíre supposed to, but the harder we try to sit still the harder Satan tempts us. By ourselves weíre not very good at winning the battle against temptation. We hurt our friends and family, because when we donít sit still, not only do we not pay attention to Godís word of life, but we make it hard for those around us to pay attention too, and so they donít hear. And what makes it worse is that the words we donít hear, are the very words which would have made us able to send the devil away so that we could sit still. Everyone has a problem with sin. You see sin separates us from God, and thatís not good. Sin must be punished, and it is punished by death, that thatís not good. Sin makes us enemies of God, and thatís not good either. There is nothing at all good about sin.
And thatís what makes Christmas so very good, for Christmas is part of Godís answer to sin. God sent Jesus to free us from sin. God sent Jesus, so that we didnít have to be punished. God sent Jesus so that we didnít have to be bad all the time. God sent Jesus so that we could be good. God sent Jesus because he loves us, and doesnít want us to be afraid of him, but to come to him as our loving Heavenly father, and ask for anything we need. So that when the devil comes and puts ants in our pants and its hard to sit still, we can turn to God and pray- Lord takes these ants out of my pants, help me to sit still - help me to hear more about Jesus, and send Satan far away so I can have some peace. Thatís what makes Jesus, Godís Christmas gift to us so special, because he has already beat the devil, and every temptation, and not only does he forgive us when weíre bad, but he helps us so that we can be good, just the way we always knew that God wanted us to be.
Christmas is about Godís answer to sin, victory in Jesus, forgiveness, peace and everlasting life. Christmas is about light coming into the world, and the darkness of sin going away forever. May the love of God fill you hearts with much joy, a savior has been born, it is Christ, the Lord.