Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas – A Celebration of God

Why do people celebrate Christmas? In his book ‘The Purpose of Christmas’, Pastor Rick Warren list some reasons people on the street gave for celebrating Christmas:
  • “I’m celebrating being home with my family”,
  • “I got a Christmas bonus”,
  • “My son is home from Iraq”,
  • “I have finished all my shopping”.
When God introduced Christmas to a group of shepherds he said, “I bring you good news of great joy”. Christmas is meant to be a celebration. But celebrate what? If you were asked why you celebrate Christmas, what would you say? For the next three Sundays I want us to look at three key reasons we celebrate Christmas. I encourage you to read Luke 2:8-20 in preparation for Sunday.

  • Christmas is a celebration of the truth that God loves you. John 3:16
      • Words for love
        • “Phileo” used to describe friendship and family love. (Philadelphia – the city of “brotherly love – is from this word. )
        • ‘Eros’ – used to describe marital love including sexual desires
        • ‘Agape’ – used in NT to describe God’s committed sacrificial love.
      • John 21:15-17 – use of “phileo” and “agape”
    • God’s very nature is love. 1 John 4:8-10
    • God’s love is impossible to lose. Romans 8:38-39
    • God’s love is abundantly given. Romans 5:5
  • Christmas is a celebration of the truth that God is with you. Matthew 1:23
    • God is everywhere present. Psalm 139:7-12
    • God is with you when you pursue his mission. Matthew 28:18-20
    • God is with you when you are in danger. Acts 18:9-10
    • God is with you when you are mistreated. Genesis 16:13
  • Christmas is the celebration of the truth that God is for you. Ephesians 2:4-5; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:31-32

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