I praise God for my family. I praise God for creating families. We tend to hear more about dysfunctional families than we do about strong families. God's plan from the creation was for a man and woman to come together and multiply. The way we can build families is through the teaching and preaching of God's word. The result of our efforts will be a strong nation, strong society, and strong churches.
I was led to pull out my Webster's Dictionary to look up the
word adore. In the dictionary, the definition was simple and
very clear. Adore means to worship or honor. In the 18th century
a talented and devoted servant of the lord realized what it
meant to adore the Lord. The person's name is unknown to us but
known to God. The devotion of this person's heart and mind
invites the world to come and adore Christ the lord. The person
I am referring to is the writer of the Christmas hymn “O Come
All Ye Faithful.” the writer penned these words:
O come all ye faithful joyful and triumphant;
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him born the king of angels;
O come let us adore him; o come let us adore him;
O come let us adore him; Christ, the lord
Christmas has become so commercial that the true meaning of Christmas has been pushed into the background. If, by chance, a person came into the world who had never been here, it would be difficult for them to discover that Christmas is about Jesus. As they traveled around, they would quickly find that Christmas to many is about Santa Claus, going to parties, shopping for gifts, and going into debt. They would certainly not hear about Christ in the malls or other places. They would have to come to a church and, sadly, in some churches, there is so much going on they would find it hard to hear about Christ. Many of us get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas. We want to return the focus back to the true meaning of Christmas. Perhaps, we can accomplish this by focusing on why we should adore Christ.
We should first adore Christ because of who He is. O come let us adore Him for being the Saviour of sinners. Satan had us bound in sin because Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Christ came that we might be set free from our sins. He came as the final sacrifice. There is no need for animal sacrifices because Jesus hung bled and died to pay our sin debt. Christ is the way the truth and the life. He came to show us the way to live. He came to show us the way back to God. His death gives us eternal life.
The second reason we should adore Christ is because of what He dared to do. O come let us adore Him for stepping down from His home in glory to take on human flesh with its sinful nature and disease. O come let us adore Him for His unconditional love He dare to share with the sick, the destitute, and the outcast of society so we could have an example of true love.
The final reason we should adore Christ is because of what He has accomplished. O come let us adore Him for conquering sin, death and the grave. O come let us adore Him for bridging the gap that sin created between us and God. Christ has accomplished what no one else could. We are set free in Christ. We have the promise of a home in heaven because of the victory we have in Christ.
My dear brothers and sisters, Christ is worthy of our adoration, our loyalty, our trust, and our best. The wise men came because they heard that the Saviour was to be born in Bethlehem. They fell down before Him in adoration and worship. They gave Him gifts as part of their adoration and worship. They understood who He was. Christ is our Savior and Lord who set us free from sin. So let us worship Him in spirit and in truth. O come let us adore Him for who He is. O come let us adore Him for what He dared to do for us. O come let us adore Him because of the things He has accomplished.
Let our focus be on Jesus this Christmas season. There is no Christmas if you take Christ out. O come let us adore Him, o come let us adore for He is Christ the lord.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. —John 3:16
What Is Christmas About?
I have discovered that Christmas means different things to
different people. Some people see Christmas as just another day.
They see Christmas as another day off or a day to exchange fits,
or a day to gather with family and friends. Corporate America
looks at Christmas as an opportunity to increase sales so they
increase their store hours and overwork their employees all in
the name of making a profit. For some, Christmas becomes a time
to over spend and go deeper in debt, to run out and buy gifts
they can't afford. Then it takes from Christmas to the next
Thanksgiving to get out of debt, only to go back into debt
again. There is yet another group that look forward to Christmas
because it is a time to party. They go from party to party,
overeating, drinking too much, and doing things they regret.
Christmas for some is a time of despair and depression. They
toil with the loss of friends or family. Yes, Christmas means
different things for different people. Perhaps that is why we
seem to be confused in churches today. Some churches have Santa
coming to visit while others have all kinds of activities but
don't seem to focus on Jesus very much. After pondering all of
this, the question comes to mind “What is Christmas about?”
Our text says “For God so loved the world". The first thing Christmas is about is love. God loved us so much that He could not leave us drowning in our sins. Sin had broken our fellowship with God and we were lost without a way out. God loved us and yearned to have a relationship with us. God loved us so much that He wanted to provide a way for us to come back into fellowship with Him. God's love motivated Him to turn to His only begotten Son and ask His son to die for the sins of the world.
Christmas is a time that people seem to show a little more love but is also a time of giving. As we read our text it says, “For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son". God could have left the sacrificial system in place and let us struggle. We would still be coming to the priest to make sacrifices. God knew this wouldn't work. God could have sent a doctor to try to heal us from our sins. He could have sent a lawyer to plead our case. He could have even sent a warrior to fight for our freedom. God knew a doctor, a lawyer, and a warrior were not what we needed. God knew we needed a Savior— one who would take away the sins of the world. God knew we needed someone to become sin as a final sacrifice to redeem us and restore our fellowship with Him. God gave His only begotten Son as a gift to the world to save us from our sins.
Christmas is about loving and giving but that is not all our text has for us.
Christmas is a time of rejoicing. As people gather, they rejoice over seeing loved ones and receiving gifts. Christmas is about rejoicing. We can rejoice because our text says, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. We can rejoice because we don't have to perish. God has given us a way to come back into fellowship with Him. All we have to do is believe in Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior. We can rejoice because, instead of justice, God's grace and mercy is upon us. We can rejoice because we are saved and we have the promise of eternal life. The promise of eternal life comes with the guarantee of a new home where there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow. Instead, we will have joy unspeakable joy. We can rejoice because God loved us so much that He sent His very best. We can rejoice because, when we were sinking deep in sin, God made away out of no way for us. Christmas is about loving, giving, and rejoicing, but there is one more thing we need to share from our text.
Finally, Christmas is about remembering what God has done for us through Jesus. Christmas is a reminder of how Jesus stepped down through 42 generations to be born of a virgin in a manger. He was royalty, but came humbly so He might seek and save the lost. Christmas is a reminder of how Jesus taught us how to live holy. Christmas is a reminder of how Jesus healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, and called the dead back to life. Christmas is a reminder that Jesus was arrested on a false charge and was never found guilty of anything other than being obedient and loving.
Christmas is a reminder of how Jesus was bruised and beaten, and how He was lead as a sheep to the sheerer. Christmas is a reminder of an old rugged cross, and on that cross hung a man who had done nothing wrong. It is a reminder of how they hung Him high and stretched Him wide. Christmas is a reminder that Jesus was without sin, but became sin to set us free from the bondage of sin. Christmas is a time to remember that on the third day Jesus got up and came out of the tomb. He got up with all power in Heaven and Earth in His hands. Christmas is a reminder that because He got up that one day we will get up and be caught up to meet Him in the air.
My dear brothers and sisters, Christmas is more than another holiday. It is more than a time to party. Christmas is more than a time to make money or give gifts. Christmas is about love, giving, rejoicing, and remembering. As we celebrate this Christmas let's spread the love of Christ, let's give by sharing the Good News with someone who is lost, lets help someone realize that they can rejoice because Jesus is Lord, and let's remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Just Keeping It Real!
Reverend Dr. Henry Johnson
7 December 2002