Sun, Dec 23, 2018
by Chris Russell
HopeFULL week four message from Pastor Chris Russell on December 23, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana. As a kid I just couldn’t get enough of all of the Christmas time activities. We had the countdown calendars we opened every morning as soon as we popped out of bed. We put out the nativity set, hung the stockings, set up the Christmas tree and put our newest yearly ornaments on it, drove around to look at Christmas lights and wrapped all of the presents. I just don’t remember any stressers when it came to Christmas as a kid. As an adult it’s a little different isn’t it? Some of us are thinking “Is it here again already?” Some are thinking “Did we budget for it this year… we just got done paying for last year!” Let’s face it, it’s usually easy for kids to have a sense of celebration about Christmas. The adults typically do all the work and the kids get to benefit from it. Somewhere along the line, as adults, we find that we go from thinking about Christmas as a time of celebration to seeing it as something to survive. That’s why I have to be careful of moving into survival mode during the Christmas season….it’s because I can often so easily overlook or forget about Jesus. You Really, that’s the message of today. That the purpose of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus. So let’s dig in. Luke 2:8-20 Now let’s talk about what kind of gifts you are giving others this Christmas. All of us have probably been participants or observers of re-gifting at some point or another. Re-gifting is popular for several reasons. First, because of various families economic situations, it helps to cut down on holiday expenses. Some people also see it as a form of recycling, helping to reduce the unwanted stuff that would otherwise be thrown out. But when we stop to think about it, re-gifting the Baby Jesus is EXACTLY what we should be doing at Christmas time and throughout the year. God wants us, not just in December, but all year round, to celebrate and share the greatest gift of all, when He sent His only son to earth for the ultimate purpose of saving us and restoring our relationship with God the Father. God’s Christmas Gift To You has three qualities that make it unique. First, it’s the most expensive gift you’ll ever receive. It’s priceless. Jesus paid for it with his life. Second, it’s the only gift you’ll ever receive that will last forever. Finally, it’s an extremely practical gift – one you’ll use every day for the rest of your life. John 3:16 Luke 2:10 Message of the Re-Gifted Jesus 1. God loves you 2. God is With You Psalms 139:7 Hebrews 13:5b 3. God is for you Romans 8:31b Jeremiah 29:11 Our world is filled with frustrated people who don’t know what they are looking for and wouldn’t know where to find it if they did. They just know that something is missing, something is incomplete in their lives. But the answer is not in a place, a program, or a pill. The answer is a person. It’s Jesus. What you’re missing is a relationship with the One who created you so he could love you.