Sunrise Wesleyan Church
December 16, 2007
Passage: Luke 1:26-38 (NLT)
VIDEO – BLUEFISHTV.COM – WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?
do we celebrate Christmas? It would appear we celebrate Christmas for
several reasons. In that video, you heard people talking about how
Christmas is all about the food, about the children, about tradition,
about the food, about the decorations, about the family, about the
Many people celebrate Christmas because of the gifts.
Giving them and getting them. 97% of us buy Christmas presents. And of
course, some people also say that Christmas is all about Santa Claus.
In fact, according to U.S. News and World Report, 9% of adults really
believe that Santa actually lives at the North Pole.
Some of the
people in the video even talked about how Christmas is about the birth
of Jesus, and they talked about reading the Christmas story from the
Bible and going to a Christmas Eve service at church.
But can I
suggest to you this morning that Christmas isn’t really about any of
those? Oh, sure, they all play a part in our celebration of Christmas,
but they’re not really why we celebrate. Or at least, why we should
celebrate. Not even saying that it’s the birthday of Jesus really does
Do We Celebrate Christmas?”
You see, we don’t just celebrate Christmas because Christ was born. No,
we celebrate Christmas because...
Christ THE SAVIOUR was
And those two words make all the difference.
those two words, then the birth of Jesus is just a nice story about
something that happened a long time ago. Oh, I guess it could still
inspire you and move you, but it’d still be just a story. Just because
Jesus was born is certainly no reason to go on celebrating for 2000
years. The fact that this Jesus who was born is also our Saviour is why
we go on celebrating.
Do you remember what the angel told the
shepherds in the fields on the night of Jesus’ birth? These shepherds
where out in the fields taking care of their sheep, minding their own
business, when all of a sudden an angel appeared right there among
them, and there was a bright shining light radiating around him… so
much so that the shepherds were terrified of this angel. But then what
did the angel say?
Luke 2:10-11 (NLT)
be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy
to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born
today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”
the past few weeks, Shera and I have been going to pre-natal classes on
Thursday evenings. You know… sitting around on mats on the floor and
learning how to breathe. Really exciting stuff.
Thursday, our class took a trip to the hospital to get a tour of the
birthing rooms and get acquainted with all the equipment there.
here at the QEH, there are only two birth rooms. One of them was
occupied, so we had our tour in the other one. And while we were there
in the room, we suddenly heard this squeal come down the hall. And we
immediately knew what had happened… the mother in the other room had
just given birth.
Well, we went on with the tour, and about 20
minutes later while we were checking out the nursery, the new dad came
down the hall carrying the newborn baby. And it was really exciting. We
were outside the nursery looking through the window, and all the people
in the class—particularly the mothers—crowded around the glass to watch
as they got the baby settled inside.
Now, I’m glad I was there.
It was exciting to see and hear the jubilation of the family. And it
was pretty neat to see this baby—even though I didn’t have a clue who
it was—just a few minutes after its birth.
But you know, if I
were home that evening and somebody called me to say there was a new
baby born at the hospital, I wouldn’t have hopped in the care to go
down and see the baby. Sure, I guess I’d be happy for the family. But I
wouldn’t go out of my way to go down to the hospital to see the baby.
I got to thinking… what if these shepherds were out in the fields and
the angel showed up and just said… “A baby’s been born.” What do you
think their reaction would have been? I’m sure they’d still be
frightened by the appearance of the angel, but I’m not sure that the
announcement would have carried the same weight. I’m not sure that they
would have left the sheep alone in the field in order to stumble their
way through the darkness to the town of Bethlehem in order to find the
baby and see Him for themselves. I’m not sure the announcement would
have changed their lives.
But you see, it wasn’t just the fact
that a baby had been born. It was the fact that Christ the Saviour had
been born. And He was born to be the Saviour of all people—including
those shepherds. And so they left their sheep and went to find this
Now, what does a Saviour do? Well, a Saviour saves. Makes sense,
doesn’t it? Jesus came to save us. But to save us from what?
we’ve got a lot to be saved from… particularly at Christmastime. In
fact, a few years ago in the UK, the Royal Society for the Prevention
of Accidents issued warnings about a whole range of dangers that are
just waiting to happen… all of them arising from what you thought were
innocent, Christmas-related activities or accessories. On a typical
Christmas, more than 6,000 people in the UK would be taken to hospital,
and over the full 12 days of Christmas the number of casualties surpass
What are these casualties? What’s going wrong? Well, the most common
People stabbing themselves with scissors while trying to wrap presents,
or open them, too hastily.
Then, there are all the bruises and broken limbs resulting from
children falling off their new bike or rocking horse.
then a fascinating series of decoration-related accidents, from being
stabbed by tree needles or holly, to falling while putting up Christmas
Even tinsel is not as harmless as it looks as it causes a good many
trips and falls.
And of course, there are the Christmas tree lights accounted for some
350 emergency admissions to hospital each year.
appears that maybe we need to be saved from Christmas itself! But
that’s not the kind of saving that Jesus came to bring. Let me show you
exactly why Jesus came… We’ve already looked at what the angel told the
shepherds; now let’s take a look at what the angel told Joseph…
Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT)
son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your
wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And
she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save
his people from their sins.”
What did Jesus come to save us from? He came to save us from our sins.
is very basic—as a race we had rebelled against God. That’s what sin
is… it’s a rebellion against God and the ways of God. We had turned our
backs on Him and had decided to go our own way. We had done that as a
race, and we’ve all done that individually, too, in one way or another.
The Bible says…
Romans 3:23 (NLT)
everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
have all sinned. And no matter how good you are, you can never live up
to God’s glorious standard. God is completely holy and perfect, and
when measured by His standard, our imperfections just shine right on
Now catch this…
Romans 6:23 (NLT)
the wages of sin is death…
what we’ve earned. The wages of our sin is death… physically and
spiritually. That’s what we deserve because of our rebellion against
our Creator. But God took mercy on us…
Romans 6:23 (NLT)
the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life
through Christ Jesus our Lord.
why Jesus came. That’s why Jesus left His throne in Heaven to come to
earth as a baby on that first Christmas. He came to be our Saviour. He
came to save us from our sin. He came to remove the penalty for our sin
so that we could be reunited with our Creator and enjoy eternal life
with Him in Heaven. That’s why He came. That was His mission. That’s
why He came, and that’s what He accomplished on the Cross.
did everything He could do. But you know, the thing about saving is
that people need to want to be saved. He offers you saving, but you
need to accept it. And I know that most of you here this
morning—perhaps even all of you—have done that already. You’ve
experienced the saving work of Jesus in your life and you’re looking
forward to spending eternity with Him.
But for some of you,
perhaps you haven’t experienced that yet. Perhaps you haven’t accepted
that Jesus came to save you. Perhaps you’ve never placed your faith in
Him and chosen to trust Him and follow Him. I want you to know that you
can do that today. You can choose to trust Him as your Saviour and to
follow Him from this day forward. You can choose to experience His
forgiveness in your life, experience His cleansing, His purpose… you
can experience a new hope… for today and tomorrow.
If you’d like to do that today, then even right now, in the quietness
of your heart, you can pray something like this…
I accept that what you did you did for me. You came to be my Saviour,
and I want to experience that saving today. I ask you to forgive me and
rescue me from my sinfulness. I choose to place my trust and my faith
in you. Help me to live for you from this day forward. Thank you.”
you’ve just prayed that prayer, then you need to let someone know about
it. If you came with someone this morning that can pray for you and
support you, then let them know. Or you can let me know. But tell
someone so that we can encourage you and help you along the way.
we’re going to sing a song right now. We’re going to sing a couple
verses of Silent Night. And then when we’re done, the children from
Sunrise Express are going to come upstairs and put on their Christmas
Presentation. And as you watch and listen, and probably do a bit of
laughing, too, remember that the story they’re telling is not just a
story about the day a baby was born… it’s the day that Christ the
Saviour was born.