Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Morning Sermon: Luke 2: 19 An Unforgettable Christmas

One of the things I love about the Christmas morning service is seeing the presents that you bring along. I like to see the toys that you’ve been waiting for, and were so excited for last night that maybe you weren’t able to sleep!

I’ve brought along a present that’s all wrapped up. It’s going to help me tell you about a Christmas memory of mine from many years ago. Does someone want to open it?

I had wanted one of those remote control racing track car sets. Something like Scalectrix. For weeks, I watched the adverts on TV and couldn’t wait to get my very own. We went down the stairs on Christmas morning, and me and my brother each had our own chair for presents. There it was, my car racing set. I was so excited! So we went off to church, got home again, and I wanted to set it up straight away.

We put it up on the kitchen floor. A round track, that mum and dad had to step over to keep making the Christmas dinner. It was time. I placed the car on the track, squeezed the controller, and the car started. But I didn’t know I had to ease off going around the corners. The car kept going, jumped off the track, and shot in underneath the cooker. And that was that. No more racing car. An unforgettable Christmas, for all the wrong reasons!

If we were to ask Mary about the first Christmas, a word she might use is unforgettable. For a start, her and Joseph had travelled about eighty miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. They’d found no place to stay, apart from in the stable. That alone would be unforgettable. A bit like the family holiday stories - do you remember when such and such happened?

Then Mary’s baby was born. No Mothercare, no baby clothes, so he was wrapped in strips of cloth. No freshly painted nursery with a new cot, so he lies in a manger. You would never forget those details.

But then they were joined by a bunch of shepherds. They were looking for the baby wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger. They said they were sent by angels, heavenly messengers! The angels had spoken of this baby being the Saviour, Christ the Lord. His birth was good news of great joy. Imagine the noise and excitement of the shepherds as they told of what they had seen and heard. How it was all true!

Luke says that everyone who heard the message ‘wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.’

This was the unforgettable Christmas. Mary made sure she treasured it all, and pondered, wondered about what it all meant.

When we get to this time of the year, and hear of shepherds and angels and a baby in the manger, we might think that we’ve heard it all before. We know what it’s all about. Let’s get on to the presents and the turkey. Perhaps this year, in the middle of all that happens, we can take some time to think about Jesus, the baby in Bethlehem, the Saviour who is Christ the Lord.

As we hear of the good news, we could even accept it, and accept him as our Saviour. How amazing would it be, as we celebrate his coming into the world, to welcome him into our heart and our life. That would make it a truly unforgettable Christmas.

This sermon was preached at the Christmas Morning Family Service in Aghavea Parish Church on Thursday 25th December 2014.

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