GOD VISITS US – A MESSY CHRISTMAS
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download the MP3 audio message, click HERE.
SPECIAL SONG: Amy singing “O Holy Night.”
OPENING: Christmas… is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
- Christmas can be a stressful time for people.
- Stress = a force or a pressure that strains or deforms.
- One of the things is money – spend too much money on your credit cards, etc.
- Another thing that can cause stress is family gatherings, or having no family, if you feel like you’re all alone. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one this year, that can put stress.
- Shopping can put pressure on you. There was a study done that said only 1 out of 4 women feel pressure when they’re shopping. All men feel pressure when they go shopping. A British Psychologist named David Lewis did a study and put men in a shopping mall and monitored their blood pressure rate and discovered that shopping is actually hazardous to your health. It’s a warzone! I still have to finish my shopping.
- Liza’s mom Wendy is in the hospital waiting for open heart surgery on Monday.
- Despite the challenges, let’s not give up on the good thing that Christmas can be…
THE GENEOLOGY OF JESUS:
- Do you have anyone in your family that you’re ashamed of?
“1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king.David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah… 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:1-17).
- Look at the four women in this family tree: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.
- Tamar – Gen. 38 – lost two husbands, prostitute, slept with her father-in-law
- Rahab – Josh. 6 – prostitute in Jericho
- Ruth – Ruth 1-4 – foreigner / outsider, lost her husband
- Bathsheba – 2 Sam. 11-12 – victim, King David slept with her and killed her husband
- God loves and cares for people whose family backgrounds are messed up and messy!
LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS:
“Wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.” (Isaiah 8:22, NLT).
- Isn’t this a picture of the world we’re living in today? Darkness, depression, despair?
“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever… The people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.” (Isaiah 9:1-2, NLT).
- That light is talking about the coming of Jesus 2,000 years ago! (see Matt. 4:12-16).
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, NLT).
- Jesus is wonderful, counselor (knows how to help us), mighty (has the ability to help us), father (cares for his children) and peace (in the midst of our storms and darkness!).
THE BIG IDEA: The Christmas story encourages us with the truth that even though our lives and homes may be ‘messy’, Jesus delights to visit us and bring us hope, joy and peace.
THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke Chapter Two.
“1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
- They were religious outcasts and considered unclean by the Jewish religious law.
- Their jobs kept them from regularly attending church – like a truck driver or shift worker.
- They were social outcasts, constantly on the move, regarded with suspicion.
- They were accused of being thieves and didn’t have much contact with other people.
- Their job was lonely, wearisome, often boring, tedious and dangerous.
- They had hours with nothing to do but watch sheep eat grass (does that make you feel any better about your job?).
GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY:
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
- It is surprising then that these are the people that God chose to send His angels to, to announce the birth of Jesus! They were nobodies, outcasts, and underdogs.
- This is the Good News of the Christmas message – peace on earth, good will toward ALL men – underdogs, outcasts, and screw-ups.
- God’s will for you: great joy, peace, and goodwill. To give you a future and a hope!
SHARE THE GOOD NEWS WITH OTHERS:
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:1-20).
- The underdog shepherds were the first people to see Jesus the Saviour!
- If you’ve encountered the Good News, then tell the world – share the Good News!
GOOD NEWS: GOD IS WITH US:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23).
- No matter what you’re going through – divorce, debt, depression – you’re not alone.
- This is the good news of great joy that Christmas is all about – God came near to you.
- God is with us, and He is for us, not against us.
- “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21).
- Like the Shepherds, go to Jesus for yourself, then go to the world.
GOOD NEWS: GOD VISITS US:
“68 Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David… 78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68-69,78-79).
- Jesus wants to visit you in your life today – invite Him in!
- Let’s keep Christ in Christmas this year, and celebrate the reason for the season.
- Let’s rejoice, celebrate, share God’s love with others, invite people into our homes, etc.
INVITATION: Come and join us tonight for our Christmas Concert – invite your friends!Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/