SER # 41V
FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
CHRISTMAS EVE – SERVICE
COLOR: WHITE OR GOLD
TUESDAY DECEMBER 24TH 2019
TEXTS: LUKE 2: 11 ISAIAH 9:2, 6-7
THEME: FOR TO US A KING IS BORN
Christmas comes every year around this time. Many in this room have fun memories of how they used to enjoy the Christmas. People will share interesting stories but what I have always wonder is what the children in this room will tell their children of their experiences of their Christmas growing up. In other words, I am challenging parents in this room to provide some good memories to their children that they would use when they get their children. Can you imagine your child telling their children during Christmas time most times there was a fight between dad and Mom, or all we did was shop, or we fought about the gift we received, or we never even mentioned Jesus whose birthday it was. Maybe they will remember Christmas Eve as the only day they went to church or talked about going to church, I don’t know.
Christmas season we create memories for our families. This Christmas like any other will come and pass and another will come but please allow me to share with you some exciting gift that you can own for yourself tonight and for the days to come. The gift I share with you is in for of good news of a King who is born tonight. The King comes to us with very special take home packages if we are willing to receive.
- The gift of Wonderful Counselor: A wonderful counselor is ready to do the following: a) Ready to listen. We live in a very noisy world at least the one I live in. From the world of technology to the commercials on the TV. When you open your computer, pop-ups are everywhere. Families no longer listen. The quiet family times are no more. But this Christmas we are reminded of a counselor who is willing to listen to you. Just try this counselor get to the counselor in your prayer and you will confirm his word “ask and it shall be given to you.” b) Does not judge. I live in a world where people are judged all the time. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his speech I have a dream on August 28th 1963 said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”. But we know that this dream has never been achieved in some places. I do not know about you but people will judge by the clothes you wear, the person you love, your gender, your age or color of your skin the language you speak, the part of town that you live in or the family you belong to. This list can go on. The good news I bring you tonight is that this counselor who born will never judge on the above except by asking you do you love your neighbor and do you love God. c) Stays positive. Part of the positivity is grounded on his love for you and me. He reminds us through his word that we can do all things through Christ who is our strength. When this counselor meet with never looks at you as one who has failed, but rather someone needed some solid rock to stand on.
- The gift of Mighty God: Our God is mighty God. When we associate and be part of this mighty God, we can face anything that comes our way. This take be back to the high school days when one full involvement with “fun” life depended very much on the friend you have around. I know we use different names these days but the protection was key. God is inviting us this Christmas to accept the gift of the victorious one. I would like to be on the side of winners. The only side that will win in this world is the God’s side who come s to us through Jesus. The world may deceive us to believe we are winning but the only winner will be the one who will answer this question “What good is it for a person to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for their soul?” (Mark 8: 36 – 37). Let us declare from today we have chosen to be on the side of the mighty God. God is the winner.
- The gift of Everlasting Father: It goes without saying that many have special memories they spend with their father. some will tell how their father taught them how to drive, went fishing, hunting, camping, road trips and list go on and on. I do also know there are some among us who grew up with absent fathers’ or some not living to the expectation. But today we are invited to associate with heavenly father who is everlasting. Meaning he will always be there for you no matter what. The world may abandon you and even your parents but his promise to you is to be there for you. Don’t take my word for it let read what the bible says about this. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget you, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16) It is true that in our lives we will go through many challenges but the promise here is God’s presence with us. Listen to these words from prophet Isaiah “But now, this is what the LORD says – he who create you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:1 – 2).
- The gift of prince of Peace: The gift of peace is very important. It allows you to enjoy the time you have and to experience inner fulfilment even when the surrounding may be challenging. The peace that Jesus offer is different from what the world gives. Jesus peace is whole and comforting. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” John 14:27. The prince peace invite us to have peace with God, peace with ourselves and peace with others.