Lord, on this holy night, help us to
reach beyond the secularity of this season to touch the holy.
Remind us again of your gift to us, the birth of your son
Jesus Christ. Amen.
Well finally! After weeks of
preparation, all the shopping, the gift buying, the crowds,
the Christmas music, all the advertising, the parties, and
even the threat of snow earlier this week, finally, we get to
hear the real Christmas story again.
It's amazing to me how we never seem
to get tired of hearing about the little boy born in a stable
so long ago. The story seems to come alive every year at this
time. And it's a story we need to hear year after year, to
remind us of what this season is truly all about.
Christmas Eve is one of the most
looked forward to days of the year for Christians.
- It's the night many Christian's
gather at churches around the world, as we have here
tonight, to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
- It's the night we give thanks to
- For unto us a child is born … in
the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke
- It's the night God reminds us just
how special we are to him.
The miracle we celebrate tonight is
not only the birth of a baby; it's the creation of a bridge, a
bridge to hope, a bridge to everlasting peace. That bridge is
Jesus Christ. " Jesus is the one and only gift that can fill a
need, a need no other gift we receive tomorrow can fill.
- Jesus is the only gift that truly
keeps on giving, long after the Energizer™ bunny has worn
down, long after the batteries have
- Jesus is the only gift that offers
real hope, real peace, and real purpose to our lives.
- Jesus is the only gift that is
given freely to all who believe.
This Christmas season, more so then I
can ever remember happening in prior years, some have been
working hard to remove Christ from Christmas.
- Some want to change Christmas tree
to holiday tree.
- Some companies tell their employees
to be "politically correct" and say "happy holidays" or
"seasons greetings" rather than "Merry Christmas."
- Some want us to listen to Holiday
carols rather than Christmas carols.
- And there are those who simply
believe there is no God, so why bother with Christ and the
Christmas season altogether.
But if we remove Christ from
- We also remove hope, joy, peace,
and love from Christmas as well.
- If we remove Christ from Christmas
we end up with an empty holiday, focused on the lust of
wanting, and the greed of getting.
- If we remove Christ from Christmas
we remove the experience of God's grace that comes to us
during this time of year. Yes, it seems as though there are
some who want to do everything this season except touch the
Last Saturday evening I arrived early
for our Saturday evening worship service. I sat in the font
pew looking at the stable that had been erected for our Sunday
school skit, which told the story of Jesus birth as
experienced by the animals.
As I sat there I was struck by the
humble setting and what it must have been like for Mary and
Joseph on that evening long ago, the evening that lies at the
very heart of the Christmas season. An insignificant village,
an obscure young couple, a rustic stable, shepherds and
animals, and a baby in a manger. I sat there in awe that God
in his infinite wisdom would select a place like a stable to
demonstrate his faithfulness and grace to all humanity.
Many years ago God came to us, not
just to Mary and Joseph, but to us, all of us, you and me. God
sent his Son Jesus to be born among us, to serve as a bridge
to God himself, to be the bridge to hope and everlasting
No matter where you look today, peace
seems to be in short supply. Each day the headlines seem to
focus on death and destruction, or they tell of some new
political crisis that threatens to thrust the whole world into
a downward spiral. Our courts and even some of our homes
overflow with people trapped in difficulties, conflict, and
abuse. There are millions of people are seeking and searching
for something, anything, that will give them peace and a sense
It's because of these circumstances we
need nights like tonight to remind us of God's faithfulness,
grace, and love for us. We need to be reminded that by God's
grace we have been given the means of receiving true hope and
peace, Jesus Christ.
We need to hear the encouraging words
of the Christmas angels spoken so many centuries ago, to a
small group of Jewish Shepherds: "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14)
But are these words really true? Can
God's peace penetrate the chaos of this world and become a
reality in our lives? Or was the promise of the angels just a
hollow, empty hope, unrealistic for life as it really is?
Well the truth is, peace is possible,
possible not because humanity has discovered some new plan or
formula for instant peace, but because God's Son has come into
the world. The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that he
gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall
not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Peace, whether in an individual's
heart, or for a community in transition, or for a nation at
war, is not automatic. Peace comes through daily prayer,
constant surrender, unbridled worship, and serving Christ.
Peace is possible because Jesus, who
entered the world on that first Christmas, wants to enter our
lives today. "And his name shall be called Wonderful
Counselor, Mighty God, The everlasting father, the Prince of
Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
The miracle of Christmas is that we
can be at peace with and in God! We can enter into a personal
relationship with God and be restored and renewed by God's
grace. This is the hope born tonight; this is the hope we
carry in our hearts. God's peace is real, and it becomes a
reality whenever men and women turn to Christ and follow Him
as Lord. And we hope for the day when the Messiah who has come
humbly at Christmas, will come again in glory to establish His
kingdom once and for all.
This little baby, whose birth we
celebrate tonight, is the light in our darkness, the joy in
our sorrow, the hope in our hopelessness, and the lasting
peace we so desperately long for.
Tonight we celebrate Christ's birth,
with the promise of a life filled with joy, peace, and love. A
life that can be experienced now, a life full of exciting
possibilities, a life that is eternal. This special gift,
Jesus Christ, is ours to receive, ours to embrace, and ours to
share with others.
So on this holy night, surrender
yourselves, receive this special gift, and claim Jesus as
Lord. Allow Jesus to be your bridge to God, your bridge to a
truly better life, your bridge to a better today and tomorrow,
your bridge to hope, and your bridge to everlasting peace.
Read other messages by Pastor Wade