ďPASTORíS CHRISTMAS STORY TIME 2003Ē
A Christmas Eve message for young children, delivered December 24, 2003
1. How many of you kids knows what Christmas is? What do we celebrate each year at Christmas time? Do we celebrate Christmas before Christmas Day? Do we celebrate Christmas after Christmas Day? We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day, donít we?
2. Now, some families open Christmas presents the night before Christmas Day. And sometimes your mom or dad will let you have one of your presents a day or two before Christmas Day. There are even people who open presents after Christmas Day.
3. All of that is okay. You mom and dad can let you open Christmas presents anytime they want, because Christmas Day is not about Christmas presents, even if you get to open your presents on Christmas Day.
4. The real reason for Christmas Day has nothing to do with presents all pretty with wrapping paper. The real reason for Christmas Day is to celebrate something. What do we celebrate each year on Christmas Day? Right. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. I am turning to Luke 2, where I will read the first 20 verses, which tells us a great deal about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen carefully as I read, because there are some very important things I want you to remember from what I read to you:
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 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.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
6. Before I mention what we do learn from these 20 verses that I have read to you, let me tell you what we do not find here on the first Christmas. We find no presents.
7. Presents are okay. There is nothing wrong with presents. You get presents on your birthday and at other times. But presents really have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ, do they? No.
8. Having said that, what do we find on that first Christmas? We really find two things I want you to notice:
1A. First, WE FIND THAT THE WHOLE PASSAGE IS REALLY ALL ABOUT JESUS
1B. We read about the Romans taxing everyone. But we are told that only so we will know how Jesus came to be born in Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary had to go there to pay their taxes.
2B. We are told about the angels. But we are told about the angels only because the angels told the shepherds that Jesus had been born and were, themselves, celebrating the birth of Jesus.
3B. We are told about the shepherds. But we are told about the shepherds only because they are the ones the angel told about the birth of Jesus.
4B. We are even told about Joseph and Mary only because they are the ones who will raise the baby Jesus to adulthood, Mary being His mother and Joseph being His stepfather.
5B. So, the whole Christmas story in the Bible is really all about the birth of Jesus and not much about anything else.
2A. Next, WE FIND THAT EVERYONEíS CONVERSATION WAS ALL ABOUT JESUS
1B. When the angel appeared and began speaking, what did he talk about? He talked only about the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and how the shepherds would be able to find Him.
2B. When the heavenly host appeared, which was a whole bunch of angels, what did they talk about? They praised God for what He had done in sending His Son, Jesus.
3B. What about the shepherds? I am sure the shepherds were talking to each other while they tended to their flocks of sheep. But we are told nothing about what they talked about until they began talking about going to find Jesus in Bethlehem, and then how happy they were that they had found Him as they walked back to their flocks in the country.
1. So you see, kids, Christmas is really all about the birth of Jesus Christ and nothing else.
2. Christmas trees have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, really. Presents have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, really. Sleigh bells and colored lights have nothing to do with Christmas, really.
3. All that is just stuff people like to do. But what Christmas is really about, and all that Christmas is about, and Christmas is about nothing other than . . . the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
4. If you pay more attention to Christmas presents than the birth of Jesus Christ, you are wrong. If Christmas trees and colored lights are more important to you than the birth of Jesus Christ, you are wrong.
5. Keep in mind that the Bible shows that Christmas time is really all about the birth of Jesus Christ. And even if you discover that other people think more of what presents they get, of how big their tree is, or of other things, you remember that no matter what anyone else says or does, Christmas is supposed to be all about the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
6. Thatís what the angel announced. Thatís what the heavenly host praised God about. Thatís what the shepherds were excited about. And thatís what you and I should be excited about. Amen?