1st Sunday of Advent!
A. Ladies or Gentlemen, have you ever lost a recipe?
B. What do you do?
C. If you don't know where to go to get it back, you can't make that
particular dish anymore!
I want to look this morning at some people who lost a recipe and it had potentially disastrous results, but they found it. I also want to look at a recipe that we may be in danger of losing
today and look at the potential results of that loss!
II Kings 22:8-11, 15-20
I. As we look at this passage:
A. We see that
had lost the recipe for living for God.
B. King Josiah's father and grandfather had led the people of
Judah away from God and into idolatry!
C. Here the book of the Law is found and the King rents his clothes as he realizes their sad state, and he sends these men to inquire of a prophetess whether or not these things will happen.
D. The prophetess, Huldah, tells that they will, but because of his
repentance, it wouldn't happen in his lifetime!
E. Destruction was sure if they hadn't found this recipe and lived by it.
F. I want to take perhaps a different angle on this example from history this morning.
G. They had lost an entire scroll , but I want to look at the possibility that we have lost just a part of the book as we know it!
1. That part being the story about Christmas. We have lost the
recipe for Christmas!
2. I want to look at where this loss is taking us!
II. Why do I think we have lost the recipe for Christmas? Our world is living by a different recipe for Christmas today than in earlier Christianity!
A. Christmas has become a time of giving the biggest and best gift!
1. We don't want anyone to give us a bigger gift than we are able
to give them back.
2. We don't want to be in debt to anyone!
3. We want our children to have the best. We want them to get
as much as their friends!
4. Today a small gift is not appreciated!
B. Christmas has become a time of exchanging gifts and not giving
1. We don't give gifts unless we can expect one in return.
2. We are insulted if we give a gift and don't receive one, so
we don=t give them one the next year!
C. So, Christmas has been commercialized. You can't blame the retailers. They make the most sales between Halloween and Christmas, so why not advertize?
D. To some, Christmas has become a time of throwing a big party and having the boys over for "a good old time."
E. To some, Christmas has become a time for family. The family gets
together and talks about the past year. This is good except Christ is never mentioned!
F. To some, Christmas has become a time of isolation! Just them and the T.V.: first the parades, then sports, and maybe some specials. This isn't all bad, but again, Christ is never mentioned.
G. But I'm talking about the world am I not?
1. After all we have Sunday School lessons about the real meaning
2. We have sermons on the real meaning of Christmas!
3. But is Christ mentioned on your Christmas Day? If he isn't
then you have told your children that he really isn't
important after all. All of these other things are what is
III. What will be the result of our losing this recipe for Christmas (The Christmas Story)? Where is this taking us?
A. The Christmas story along with Easter is the basis of Christianity!
B. If we fail to get this message across, we will loss our children!!
C. Christmas is a chance to get across not only the birth of Christ but the reason for the birth (the gospel).
D. If we do not emphasize in our homes that which is taught in church, we are going to lose them!
IV. What do we need to do?
A. Make Christmas a remembrance and a celebration of the birth of Christ!
B. Make everything that you can be a reminder of the real meaning of
1. Share that the reason we exchange gifts is in celebration and remembrance of the gift God gave to us: Jesus!
2. Make the Christmas tree a reminder of the real meaning of
a. Tell your kids or grandkids that we have the star on our trees to remind us of the star that led the wise men to Jesus!
b. Tell them the angel reminds us of the angel that told the shepherds the good news!
c. Tell them we put candy canes on our trees to remind us of the shepherds (they are shaped like the shepherds staff).
d. Tell them we use lights or candles to remind us that
Jesus is the light of the world, and tell why he is
e. Tell them we use an evergreen tree to remind us that Jesus brings us everlasting life (explain what that means and how we get it)!
f. Have a birthday party for Jesus!
C. Sometime during your Christmas read the Christmas story (Luke 2) or with young children tell it to them maybe using a nativity scene to act it out, and share what the Christmas story means to us!
A. It isn't too late!
B. We can make the real meaning of Christmas come to life in our homes!
We have found the recipe! If we use it, we could make a difference in our children and grandchildren!
C. Are you doing that? I challenge you to do it this year! It will have eternal consequences.
D. Maybe you=re here this morning and never have made a commitment to Christ. You can do that today as you encounter Christ at the table for communion! If you make a first time commitment, let me know so I can help you with you new walk in Christ.