In this series, "Whatever Happened to Christmas?" by pastor Skip Heitzig, we are discovering why Christmas is so special and why it is important to celebrate its true meaning. There is a clear difference between Christmas traditions and the truth, between the historical and the hoopla, and between fantasy and reality. Through this series we'll determine the distinguishing truth behind this special celebration. Discover what God's plan is for the world and find out how He would have us celebrate the greatest of all the holidays!
|1||Galatians 4:4-6||Whatever Happened to Christmas?|
|2||Isaiah 7:10-16||The Ultimate Ultrasound|
|3||Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:1-52||Bah, Humbug! Those Who Missed Christmas|
|4||Luke 2:25-35||Simeon Says...|
In the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, we will discover why this event is so special and why it should be specially celebrated. We'll differentiate between tradition and truth, between the historical and hoopla, between fantasy and reality. As our studies move closer to Christmas Day we'll move closer to God's plan for the world and find out how He would have us celebrate this greatest of holidays.
I. It Came With Precision "fullness of time"
A. Fullness of Time Religiously
B. Fullness of Time Culturally
C. Fullness of Time Politically
D. Fullness of Time Prophetically
II. It Concerns a Person “God sent forth His Son”
III. It Contains a Purpose “to redeem…that we might receive adoption”
PONDERING THE PRINCIPLES
1. Smile a lot this Christmas Season—you’ve got every reason to be joyful—your Savior came right on time and saved you right on time and will return right on time!
2. Since the purpose of God’s plan was so you could know the Father intimately, to what extent has His plan been fulfilled in your life today?
Over-the-counter home pregnancy tests can reveal pregnancy with reasonable accuracy nowadays, but the definitive method is ultrasound - the use of high energy sound waves that create echoes of soft tissues. But God sounded forth the ultimate "sonogram" through the prophet Isaiah who predicted the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. Let's consider his words today.
I. The Setting
A. A Local Predicament
B. A Global Prediction
II. The Sign
A. The Pregnant Virgin
B. The Prophesied Son
III. The Savior
A. The Meaning
B. His Mission
Taking it to Heart:
1. Charles Wesley’s song "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." Is a common anthem at Christmas. Meditate on this verse of that song, "Mild, He lays His glory by; Born that men no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth; born to give them second birth!"
2. How does an acknowledgment that God controls even the details of history as well as the future bring comfort and assurance to you today?
Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly curmudgeon in Charles Dickens's 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol, popularized this negative sentiment about Christmas. Humbug is an old English word meaning "nonsense." He didn't have room for Christmas in his life. He's not alone. When Jesus was born there were some who missed the significance of that monumental event and they missed it for different reasons. Let's meet them this morning and see what made them miss Christmas.
I. A Preoccupied Businessman-Too Active (Luke 2:4-7)
A. Common People Inconvenienced
B. Common Graces Forsaken
II. A Paranoid Politician-Too Afraid (Matthew 2:1-3)
A. Some Wise Men
B. One Unwise King
III. Some Passive Theologians-Too Apathetic (Matthew 2:4-8)
A. They Knew Something
B. They Did Nothing
Pondering the Principles:
1. What does busyness do to your relationships? An overcommitted life can be disastrous? Are there urgent things that are choking out the important things?
2. Think of Herod versus the wise men. How can one’s position or status in life, especially when trying to grab power, prevent you from worshipping?
3. Read James 1:22-25. How does this speak to those apathetic theologians?
Far from the silly children's game "Simon Says", the old man Simeon had some pretty weighty things to say. What he spoke in the Temple after the birth of Jesus is still profound and very practical. Let's take a fresh look at what this godly senior citizen had to say to his generation. What Simeon says has deeper significance than what Simon says.
I. His Description (Vss 25-27)
II. His Proclamation (Vss 28-33)
A. The Faithfulness of God
B. The Fate of the Child
1. He is God’s Salvation
2. He is the World’s Light
III. His Prediction (Vss 34-35)
A. Regarding Jesus
B. Regarding Mary
A Special Note: Lenya, Nate and I want you to know how deeply we love this flock at Calvary of Albuquerque. It is our joy to serve you and also to serve alongside such a devoted staff and group of volunteers. We are so thankful for our spiritual family!