Sermon Text: Matthew 1:18-25
In a world filled with conflict, where hate often abounds … you ARE TO BE LOVE. How? In the birth of a Babe. Whether you realize it or not, no matter where you are or who you are with … you are standing on Holy Ground. Even in the most unlikely of places … God is there through His Son … and through each of us!
I’ve been preaching it to you for almost 13 years. Have you got it? What is the most important thing we can do in our lives? What has God called each of us to do and never veer from the choice? What is the one word that should typify how others see us and experience us? What is that word? LOVE!
I don’t believe there is any other time or season of the year that reinforces this mandate more than Christmas.
And so today … I want to ask you a couple of questions to see if you agree with me that Christmas is that time of year where love does indeed manifest itself like no other.
THE FIRST QUESTION IS THIS: Does Christmas open your heart?
Is Christmas a sentimental journey, a trip down memory lane that brings tears to your eyes? A favorite Christmas carol includes the words: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Do you know which one it is? You should … we just sang it at the beginning of our service as our Hymn of Advent Love: O Little Town of Bethlehem.
“The hopes and fears of all the years…” Those are exactly the kinds of feelings we spend most of the year avoiding! The last thing we want to think about [most of the time] is that vertical dimension of our soul ... the deep places in our lives ... our self-consciousness about the reality of “the hopes and fears of all the years.” We don’t want to think about that, because we’re afraid that if we get in touch with our hopes and dreams for the future … we will be disappointed.
And we sure don’t want to be in touch with our fears because they can be so dad gum scary. And so we spend our life avoiding “the hopes and fears of all the years.” It takes courage to really take a trip down memory lane ... a sentimental journey ... to be in touch with who we really are in all our feelings...Read full sermon here (PDF)