Dave Morehouse: Detailed Outline
- Bottom Line Statement – What you believe about Christmas determines what you do with Christmas. Let me ask you that about Christmas – what do you see? What you believe about Christmas will determine what you do
- Some believe the SPARKLE
- Some believe it is about see STRESS
- Some believe it now about SADNESS
- Some see an outdated and untrue STORY
Today/tonight, I want you to believe something differently about Christmas. In order to do that I want you to see it through fresh eyes.
- Dramatic moment – in these weeks leading up to this service we have been looking at the story through the key people involved in this Christmas Story.
- Mary – “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Matthew 1:38
- Shepherds – 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.” Luke 2:15
- Wiseman – About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1b-2
- Finally we want to see what heaven saw. Angels
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son,and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
- When we hear this account about the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth to Joseph – we are reminded that Joseph made a great switch – what he initially believed about this first Christmas changed which in turn changed what he was going to do.
Joseph’s Great Switch
- Joseph was righteous man – he had moral compass.
- Joseph believed his fiance cheated on him!
- In the ancient world of Israel, morality would require that he publicly divorce her to protect his family honor – but he chose to show mercy because he loved her so he decided to do it quietly.
- God revealed to him what heaven saw – that Mary did not cheat on him, but had experienced a miracle — she would give birth to God’s Son.
- We all need a great switch – Believing the Christmas story requires a ‘Joseph’ moment – where we see what heaven saw – which changes everything we do!
- Heaven saw in the birth of Jesus – this world is not the only world that exists. There is more to life than just this life. The ultimate fact of life is not this material universe but God. This story threatens secularism of our age. For some the fact that there is a door that takes us beyond this world may feel terrifying.
- Heaven saw that Jesus is more than a baby – He was God made flesh. He came to show us what this greater world was all about. Either Jesus was myth, a lunatic or what He claimed to be…and that makes Jesus unique Therefore what He said, what He did and what He was able to accomplish sets Him apart from everything and everyone.
- Heaven saw in the birth of Jesus what our greatest need is in humanity. What did the angel tell Joseph to name the baby? “You are to name him Jesus”
In that day names describe the purpose of one’s life – what does Jesus mean? I’ve hear Jesus used as a curse word. I know people in church say it is the name of God’s one and only Son. But that is not the question. What does the name of Jesus mean?
Jesus means “the Lord Saves” Saves us from what? “Save his people from their sins.”
Jesus didn’t come primarily to solve the economic, political, and social problems of the world. He came to forgive our sins.
Sin is making anything but God our idol. Sin is thinking that we can come to God on our terms. Sin is making ourselves the center of our universe and taking control. Sin is saying there is no God.
But Jesus came to take away our sin and make us spiritually alive
1 John 4:9-10 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Jesus is our Savior. It means we are not left alone to figure out our greatest problem. Because of Jesus we now can proclaim God is with us.
- Celebrate and Rejoice
- Decide to make a switch like Joseph and believe
A CHRISTMAS PRAYER
“Jesus help me see this world is not the only world that exists. Jesus help me to believe the Christmas Story: that you were born to save us from our sin and that God is with us. God help me to see and believe what Heaven saw.” `
(Worship team comes up!)
- Keep investigating = New Year Eve Combined Service
What you believe about Christmas determines what you will do with Christmas!
Now we will take our offering – if you prayed that prayer – write your name on the next step card – I prayed! We can follow up with you on the next steps…