Behind and above Pastor Williams hung a large projection screen with an image of Jesus with the heading, Christmas is About Jesus.
“Christmas is not about Santa Claus; it is not about buying and exchanging gifts; it is not about having a big meal with your family. Christmas is about God’s love for mankind. John 3:16 says, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.‘
“Christmas is about God fulfilling His promise that ‘Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.‘ Matthew tells us that after Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was distressed because he hadn’t any relations with her so how could she be with child? He could have had her stoned to death for adultery. It would have been within his right to do so. It was the law but being a good and just man, he decided not to. Instead, he was going to break their engagement but to do it quietly because he didn’t want to publicly disgrace her. But, thanks be to God, an angel was sent to Joseph to explain Mary’s condition.
“In a dream, he saw the angel who said to him, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus, meaning ‘Savior’, for he will save his people from their sins. This will fulfill God’s message through his prophets’ The angel then quoted Isaiah 7:14. When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded and took Mary to be his wife but he didn’t know her and she remained a virgin until her Son was born.
“Christmas is about our salvation. ‘For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ Christmas is about Jesus Christ, the Light who came into a world darkened by sin. He was the long-awaited Messiah, the King of kings. He was Emmanuel, God with us. He was and is God’s precious Gift to mankind. Christmas is about the Savior–Jesus Christ who came to save and to set the captives free from the clutches of Satan and sin.
“Christmas is about the Good News which the angel shared with the shepherds one night as they were tending their flocks. ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ Christmas is the time to rejoice for unto us a Child is born, the newborn King who will reign forever and ever. The Child wrapped in swaddling cloths was also God’s love for humanity wrapped in sinless flesh.
“Christmas is about sharing the wondrous Gift which God has given to us–His Son who left the glory of heaven to come to earth to bring peace and goodwill toward men! This Christmas season, make it all about Jesus. Go out there and like the shepherds, share the good news about the Child in the manger. Give the gift of Christ to those who don’t know Him so that when they hear and accept the message, they believe and are saved. Like Mary, let us magnify the Lord and rejoice in God our Savior. Yes, my brethren, Christmas is about Jesus who became one of us in order to save us.”
The pastor left the lectern and the songstress stepped up to the mike and invited everyone to turn in their hymnals to O come, all ye faithful. Afterwards, one of the elders gave the benediction and then those on the podium came down and made their way through the sanctuary. The pastor stood in the foyer, beside the double doors leading into the sanctuary, greeting, chatting and shaking hands with the members of the congregation as they left.
“Pastor William, I enjoyed your sermon,” some of them said.
“That was a powerful message, Pastor Williams.”
“Thank you. Praise the Lord.”
Many of the people filed downstairs to the basement where there was food and refreshments. After a while Pastor Williams joined them. It was a wonderful afternoon of fellow-shipping and breaking bread together. The spirit of Christmas filled the room.
It was after four in the afternoon when the Williams family finally got home. It had been a long but spiritually uplifting day. After changing into comfortable clothes, the kids went down into the basement to watch TV while the adults retired into the living-room to relax on the sofa while Christmas carols played softly in the background.
“Honey, I was truly blessed by your message today. Christmas is about Jesus.”
“I’m happy that you were blessed.”
“I’m very proud of you.”
Pastor Williams smiled at her husband. “Thank you, Baby.” She reached over and kissed him on the lips.
He stood up and held out his hand. “Let’s go upstairs,” he suggested. “While the kids are watching TV, you and I can get a little frisky.”
She laughed and taking his hand, she got up. They quickly headed for the stairs, holding hands and snickering.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:14).
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May the love of God fill your hearts and bring you peace and joy as you reflect on the birth of His Son.