Riverside Community Church

Change your Christmas - Let Christmas CHANGE YOU

Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho. 25 sleeps left, are you all excited?  NO, you’re not really excited! What happened to Joy to the World at Christmas? Our celebration of Christmas usually exhausts us, stresses us and fails our expectations. In fact, if you keep doing it the same way every year with all the stress and exhaustion you will be able to explain why there are so many grumpy older men and cranky older ladies.

 

This year the average Canadian will celebrate Christmas by spending $1047, the men on average will spend 125% more than women and in North America Christmas spending will be over 24,883,000,000.

And in our celebrating Christmas 343 people will die in traffic accidents in North America, in 3 days around Christmas or 1 every 13 minutes.

 

       2 weeks ago there was the Santa Claus parade in Toronto and they were interviewing people on the side of the road. “What is Christmas to you?” was the question and a man answered “Well, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa and the parade.” Really? Let’s call it Santamas or Clausmas!!!

 

TO BE FAIR AND HONEST in the Bible we are never asked once to remember the birth of Christ. Our celebration of Christmas is a purely human endeavor. He commanded us to remember his death, but he never asked us to celebrate his birth. That’s our thing. It’s not a bad thing, in fact, it can be quite good, but does Christmas change our lives? The way we celebrate Christmas, the way we celebrated Christmas last year or the year before? Does it change us for better, does it draw us closer to the Christ of Christmas? I’m convinced more than ever that: We need to change our Christmas and then let Christmas change us

Sermon title is:

 

Change your Christmas and let Christmas change you.

 Matthew 1:21 (NIV) (angel speaking to Joseph)

21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the Lord saves.)

 

The zinger, the Christmas changer ******SAVE YOU FROM YOUR SIN

 

Christmas, the birth of Christ, was to bring a change to our world. I don’t mean just “the world” in general, but I mean he came to bring a change to YOU and to your personal world. Change to our lives on a day to day basis, our job, our relationships, our families, our spirituality, all should be radically transformed by Christmas. Not transformed by our celebration of Christmas, but transformed by the Christ, this Jesus, Himself.

When the angels announced the birth of Christ they said,

“Do not be afraid (fear not). I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Luke 2:10-14 (NIV)

 good news of great joy       a Savior has been born to you;

 

Change your Christmas, the way you celebrate Christmas and Christmas will change you. Do you want to have the Christmas you’ve always longed for? A Christmas filled with good news and great joy??

It’s hard, near impossible you say, I get that, but I’m going to ask you to do something every day for 25 days until Christmas –it’s as easy as PIE

P     PONDER

I     IDENTIFY

E     EXPERIENCE

 Following this sermon is a series of 25 Bible verses, I for each day in December leading up to and including the 25th. Take the verse for the day and read it, ponder it (think about it, meditate on it). Then identify with it (Christmas was for you so put the ‘I’ in the verse). Finally, experience it personally.

Let me P-I-E this verse

PONDER

IDENTIFY

EXPERIENCE

 

John 1:1, 14 (NIV)

 “In the beginning was the Word (CHRIST), and the Word(CHRIST) was with God, and the Word(CHRIST) was God. He(CHRIST) was with God in the beginning. The Word(CHRIST) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 

THIS Christ was and is God and Christ compressed Himself into flesh, a baby, this creator and ruler and limitless God –compressed- and was born here on earth, lived, died and rose here, amoung us (me) on earth

         Christ came to me and for me –this is my Christ –my Christmas

Glorious, glorious –God is

 

How does Christmas change my world? It’s not through the gifts or the memories made. It’s not through the time spent with family. It’s not through any of the trappings of the holiday. Christmas, as we celebrate it doesn’t change my world.

But Christmas, as the birth of Christ, the Son of God made flesh, the birth of Jesus – Immanuel – God with me, Saviour who came to me and for me  -this can change me   -change my Christmas.

 

At 3:00 a.m. the young wife shakes her husband awake, telling him to check on the newborn baby. He sits up for a minute listening before he protests, "But I don’t hear any crying." "I know" she replied, "And it’s your turn to go see why not!"

A baby changes a lot of things. A baby can change your sleeping habits. After you bring home that bundle of joy, your life will almost certainly get noisier. Grocery shopping will be a little different as you discover how many different kinds of formula and food are available. You will learn what foods makes junior smile, and what foods produce more unpleasant reactions. If you’re wise you’ll “child-proof” your home. The birth of a baby brings some big changes in your life.

 

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a Baby Who changed everything. He not only made a big difference in His own home, but a big difference in the whole world. His birth is meant to change everything for you, too. The birth of Jesus Christ can change your life.

 

Remember P-I-E        Ponder, Identify and Experience

I am going to give each of you a 6” spike, (if you’re at home reading this –go find a nail instead) representing the one used to nail Jesus to the cross and eventually kill Him,

Take the spike and maybe make a Christmas ornament out of it for your tree or place it where ever decorations are.

Take the following containing 25 Bible verses and read the verse for the day, while holding the spike           

P-I-E         ponder the verse,

Identify with what the verse is saying to you, tattoo it on your soul

And then like Don Cherry’s shirt’s monogram, DSC, on his cuffs or cufflinks, monogram this on your soul ***      CHRIST ME  *** (like Christ mas)

Experience Christmas for you.

1         Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

2        John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

3        Romans 12:10

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

4        Proverbs 17:22

A merry heart does good like medicine.

5        Matthew 1:23

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

6        John 1:14

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw

His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

7        2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

8        Luke 1:37

For nothing will be impossible with God.

9        Romans 15:13

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

10       James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

11       John 1:4-5

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

12       John 1:9-10

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him…

13       Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!

14 Galatians 4:4-5

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

15       Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

16       Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

17       Isaiah 11:1

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

18       Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

19       Micah 5:2

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

20      Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

21       Luke 2:10

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

22      Matthew 2:1-2

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

23      Luke 1:30-31

 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

24      Luke 2:11

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” –

25   Matthew 1:23

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is,

God with us.

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