Finding Christmas 

Finding Christmas 

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, Tuesday, December 24, 2019 @ 5:00 PM Central Time 

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12 

Message Topic: Finding Christmas 


Every year at this time, millions of people around this country and the world search for Christmas. They try to catch “the Christmas Spirit.” Others seek to find it in Christmas decorations, Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, Christmas travels, Christmas music, Christmas cantatas, Christmas concerts, Christmas caroling, Christmas parades, Christmas movies, Christmas day sports/games. Others seek to find Christmas in wild carousing with drugs, alcohol, and sex. 


What these Christmas seekers are really looking for is true love, belonging, meaning, peace, joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. 


 You may hear someone say, “That’s what Christmas is all about.” And the list of sights, sounds, or things that Christmas is all about keeps growing: family coming together – that’s what Christmas is all about; giving money and things away – that’s what Christmas is all about; reconciling with an estranged relative or friend – that’s what Christmas is all about; joyful music – that’s what Christmas is all about! 


Well, exactly, which one is it? What is Christmas all about? 


 In spite of the frantic search for the real Christmas, what most people find during and after Christmas is increased busyness, a hectic pace of activities, stress, conflicts, hangovers, breakups, regrets, loneliness, disappointment, and debt from over-shopping. 


Christmas can be an illusive search for something every year at this time. Quite often the searcher comes out empty. And it’s time to take down the Christmas tree, the decorations, the lights, until next year, when the search for real Christmas starts all over, with a kickoff on Black Friday. 


 So, what does it take to find real Christmas this year and every year? 


I think the adventure of the wise men can help us find a biblical Christmas, the real Christmas. How were the wise men able to find and enjoy Christmas as recorded by Matthew in his gospel? The wise men learned that… 


1. The people who miss real Christmas are those who disregard God’s plan for their lives.


Matthew 2:3-8  King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. 4  He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” 5  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:  6  ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’” 7  Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. 8  Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” 


The spirits of religion, politics, and culture can blind us to what God is doing right around us. We see this in the attitude and behavior of the religious leaders, King Herod, and the general public of Jerusalem. 


2. The most important thing about the Christmas journey is not its duration but its destination. It is not how long the search takes but where the search ends. 


Matthew 2:9  After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 


3. Christmas presents find their true meaning in Christ’s presence.


Matthew 2:10-11  When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11  They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 


When you experience Christ through worship, you will be satisfied with whatever you give or receive this Christmas. 


4. Once we worship the Christ of Christmas, we find a new way for our journey in Christmas should guide us to reset our path and priority.


Matthew 2:12  When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. 


5. The symbol of Christmas should point us to the substance of Christmas.


Matthew 2:1-2  Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2  “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” 


For the Magi or wise men, their only Christmas symbol was the star they saw in the East. They concluded that the Eastern Star was pointing them to The Star of Bethlehem, the heavenly King, born to save the world. 


What are some of our Christmas symbols today? How can we apply some of these symbols to the biblical meaning of Christmas? 

  • Christmas decorations: they represent the beauty of our Savior 
  • Candy cane: it symbolizes the rod and staff of Jesus, our Good Shepherd 
  • The Christmas tree: it points to Jesus, the tree of life; He was hung on a tree 
  • Santa: he is a representation of God the Father, the Giver of all good things. 
    • James 1:17Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
    • He is the extravagant Giver in John 3:16 For this is how much God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
    • The generous God in 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
    • Romans 8:32Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
  • Finally, Christmas lights: they symbolize Jesus, the Light of the world. 
    • John 1:4-5,9The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.  9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, has come into the world.”
    • John 8:12I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.
    • John 9:5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

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