Reaching people and making them devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
CHRISTMAS What Is Christmas Really All About?
What is Christmas really all about? We think we know, donít we? Itís a great question when you get serious and observe what people think Christmas is really all about.
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS ALL ABOUT? It depends on whom you ask. Letís get a few responses from you. Who would be willing to tell me WHAT IS CHRISTMAS ALL ABOUT? Shout it out!
What I am wanting us to see is what we say CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT is not exactly what we do when showing what CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. For example, a person might say, ďI believe in marriage,Ē but that person has divorced several times. A person might say, ďthings donít make me happy,Ē but they have maxed out five credit cards. A person might say, ďI believe in family,Ē but works all the time (sounds like me sometimes). Christians nearly always say, ďI believe Jesus is the reason for the season,Ē but they donít stopped to pray. They havenít been faithful to worship. They havenít been faithful to giving. They havenít read the word of God. They refuse to witness or minister to others. Is Jesus really the reason for the season to them, or is that only what they say? Actions truly do speak louder than words, right.
If I asked you, ďWHAT IS CHRISTMAS REALLY ALL ABOUT?Ē would you say Jesus is the reason for the season. Is that what your words say, or do your actions speak louder than your words?
For years, the movie industry has attempted to depict what CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT. Letís look at a few video clips from some old classic movies and see if we can relate to any of them.
ITíS A WONDERFUL LIFE:
Thatís one of my all time favorite movies. Often during bad times, YOU pray. You pray if you are going through a bad time plus others pray for YOU. Thatís what George did. Do you know that Christmas is a very stressful time to many people. Itís even a sad time to many Ė loved ones gone, bad memories, loneliness. Did you know the highest suicide rate happens during the Christmas holidays? Thatís true and suicide even happens at Christmas with people who are normally loving, polite, and kind Ė maybe to them even more so at Christmas time. People experiencing bad times stress out during Christmas, and take it out on family and friends. They can become extremely angry and vicious even during the Christmas season. It does lead to sadness, even to suicide. We truly need to pray for them. If we will, the Lord will help them see IT IS A WONDERFUL LIFE. God will send an angel Ė YOU Ė to help them. What I want us to gain from the clip is God hears prayers others pray for YOU. By love and prayer, God hears, God moves, and God makes Christmas what Christmas is really about, but WHAT IS CHRISTMAS REALLY ALL ABOUT?
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Ė SCROOGE:
To some people, Christmas is really all about costing money. The average family spends a few weeks wages for Christmas. Requests at the church for money to help people with utilities, rent, etc at least double and usually it is because people spend their rent and utility money on Christmas. If you are an employer, it is an expensive time. Not only is everyone off work, but they also expect a Christmas bonus.
If not cautious, ďScrooge peopleĒ become hard hearted and it takes a spiritual situation to soften them. Sometimes they must be forced to look at their past, be challenged to seek Jesus in their present, and know that a grave awaits their future. A true softening always brings us to a place of understanding WHAT CHIRISTMAS IS REALLY ABOUT, but WHAT IS CHRISTMAS REALLY ALL ABOUT?
NATIONAL LAMPOONíS CHRISTMAS VACATION:
25,000 imported twinkle lights! I know no one in our congregation can relate to that (kidding). Some people think that Christmas is really all about trees and decorations and presents. You have to get that perfect tree and have the most lights. Is anything wrong with that? No, of course not, but what has that to do with what Christmas is really all about? It doesnít. Itís just fun.
A CHRISTMAS STORY:
A child would say Christmas is THE BEST day. Itís all about that desired present or presents. Then the children grow up becoming adults with children. If you are like me, you get joy when you watch your children and grandchildren enjoy the gifts you give them. IMAGINE HOW FATHER GOD FEELS WHEN WE TRULY ENJOY THE AMAZING GIFT HE GAVE US.
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET:
Some people say there is no reason for Christmas. Itís just about myths. Some believe neither in Jesus nor Santa Clause. I wish some parents would put as much time and effort in working on their children to believe in Jesus as they do to believe in Santa Clause. Isnít it amazing how you donít have to work on the Santa Clause belief. Children want to believe that. Itís more difficult with belief in Jesus. What do you teach your children to believe in?
Is Christmas about trees, lights, gifts, and Santa Clause? Are we getting any closer to determining WHAT IS CHRISTMAS REALLY ALL ABOUT?
Letís do one more video. Amazingly, it is in this one we will find WHAT CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT.
CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS:
Linus said, ďTHATíS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT, CHARILIE BROWN!Ē
Some people just donít feel the way they should about Christmas. The reason is they donít know WHAT CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT. They go through the motions. They give and receive gifts, decorate trees, go to Christmas plays and parties, but still feel depressed. Thatís when we need a faithful friend like Linus who will get things back into perspective. We have to remember WHAT IS CHRISTMAS REALLY ALL ABOUT.Ē
What I want to tell you today is Jesus is not the reason for the season Ė YOU ARE! This entire season is for and about you. YOU ARE THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. Had it not been for YOU, Jesus would have no need to come. You are the reason he came, so YOU ARE THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. Letís read the verse that Linus quoted.
Luke 2:8-14 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I BRING YOU good tidings of great joy, which shall BE TO ALL PEOPLE. For unto YOU is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto YOU; YE shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will TOWARD MEN.
According to the Bible, who is the reason for the season? God wrapped his gift to you in swaddling clothes and said itís about you.
If actions truly tell the truth of how someone feels, then Godís actions tell you that YOU ARE WHAT CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT.