of The Message
You know the
spirit of Christmas, my father started sharing it last week.
He shared a fabulous message from Isaiah 40. And today I’m
going to take the next couple of passages, Isaiah 42 and
share with you again how the prophet Isaiah proclaims the
wonderful good news that a Savior is to be born.
You know the
prophet Isaiah, the word Isaiah actually means the Lord
saves. And today we’re taking a look at Jesus. You
know, that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s
about Christ in the mass. It’s Christ everywhere.
That’s what Christmas is all about. And here in this
season of preparation of an Advent season, we are looking
at ways that we can prepare for the tremendous good news
of this incredible Christmas. It’s amazing how our
society today continues to attempt to take Christ out of
I think it was
15 years ago I took my kids out of a public school. And
the reason I took my children out of the public school was
because their school district decided to take Christ out
of Christmas. It was no longer allowed to be called a Christmas
tree in the school. It was the winter tree. They didn’t
have a Christmas program anymore. It was a winter program.
They didn’t have a Christmas Vacation. They had a
winter vacation. And nowhere in the entire school system
was there any mention or the word Christ allowed. I couldn’t
handle it. Because I am convinced that if you take Christ
out of the school systems, the school systems are not going
to educate our children.
So how do we
put Christ in Christmas? You have to realize He’s
everywhere. That He is here. That Christ is real. That He’s
alive. In Isaiah 42 He shares with us the first thing that
we need to remember as we prepare for Christmas. First of
all advent is a time for us to prepare for Christmas. And
He begins by saying “Here is My servant whom I uphold.
My chosen one in whom I delight. I will put My spirit on
Him.” The words of Isaiah proclaiming the coming future
of our Savior Jesus Christ. And when you go and you look
at these words, I can’t help but think of Jesus Christ
when He was baptized. And the Bible says that the Spirit
of God descended upon him, and He was baptized. And God’s
voice was heard: this is My Son.
Today as we prepare
for Christmas, as we move into the preparations, I want
to encourage you to go and get your Christmas trees. Because
the Christmas tree has a beautiful history. Legend goes
all the way back to the 6th century AD.
I’ve heard two different accounts of Saint Wilfred,
but it is good old Saint Wilfred who, it comes from two
different directions. One legend will tell you it came from
England, the other one will say it came from Germany. If
you’re from Germany you could say it came from Germany.
If you’re English, it came from England. We’re
in the U.S. so it doesn’t mater.
Anyhow the legend is the same. The nomadic tribes of that
region were worshiping the oak trees. And so he decided
that this could not be. And as a missionary, and wanting
to share the good new of Jesus Christ he wanted to prove
to them that there was no power in this oak tree so he went
and he chopped it down. Can you believe it? That took a
lot of nerve. He chopped down this oak tree and he said
look it there is no power in the tree and he chopped it
But then out
from the midst of those roots of the oak tree a fir tree
grew out. And he declared from now on you will take this
tree and you will cut it down and you will take it into
your homes, for it is a symbol of what Christ does for us.
It is evergreen, a symbol of eternal life, everlasting life.
It points to heaven. All of its branches point to heaven.
And so we are pointing to heaven.
It is a symbol of peace as you use the fir trees to build
your homes. Take this tree and realize it is a symbol of
peace. And so the Christmas tree from its foundation is
a declaration of peace. It’s a declaration of our
faith in Jesus Christ. It is a Christmas tree.
The advent, the
Spirit of Christmas is a time of personal time. Isaiah said
it this way: “I the Lord have called you in righteousness.
I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will
make you to be a covenant for the people, and a light for
Why is it, if
this is God’s promise to us, why is it that Christmas
seems to be such a hectic time? Dose anyone here find Christmas
to be a little more hectic then normal? I know I do. It’s
amazing. Why is it that it’s so hectic and why is
it that it seems to be so difficult? I mean here we are
getting ready for something so exciting and something we’re
so thrilled about and yet we get so confused. Oh.
Do you know what
it is for me? It’s all the decisions I have to make.
Now once I make the decision it’s a piece of cake.
But it’s making those decisions. It is not easy trying
to figure out what to buy my dad, you know? That is just
an enormous decision. The only thing worse than that is
the decision what am I going to get my mother? Oh! And all
of these decisions one after another, and that’s what
makes Christmas so hectic for me. How am I going to use
my time? What am I going to do with the limited resources
I have? How am I going to spread it out and then where am
I going to go to find all these thing? And oh!
But the only
way I have realized, resolved this incredible conflict of
all these decisions is to realize that Christmas is a time
to be personal. It’s a personal time with God. And
I have to take the time to pray. Take the time to come to
church. Take the time to put my priorities straight so that
Christ stays in Christmas, and that He is there. He is my
God, and I am His servant. And it is time the Spirit of
Christmas to thrive. It is a time for us to prepare. It
is a time for us to have personal time. It is a time for
us to have praise time.
He goes on in
this wonderful chapter and He says, “Sing to the Lord
a new song, His praise from the end of the earth. You who
go down to the sea and all that is in it, you islands and
all who live in them, let the desert and its towns raise
their voices. Let them give glory to the Lord and proclaim
His praise.” When Christ was born the angels sang,
“glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill
to all.” It’s a time for us to praise God.
A friend of mine
was telling me about his child’s Christmas pageant.
He said it’s the same thing every year. All these
kids come along and they just kind of walk on the stage,
and they’re wearing their bathrobes and their slippers,
and they have these funky things they wear and it’s
just pandemonium. He says the first thing was the three
Mary’s came out. I said what? He goes don’t
ask me what the logic is, but they had three Mary’s.
Apparently they acquired three costumes throughout the years
and they decided they should use them all. So they had three
Mary’s. Then they had a couple of Josephs. And he
said then the angels came out and their wings were huge.
They had these huge wings on them and they came and apparently
they had different marks on the stage where everyone was
supposed to stand to try and create order.
So everyone came and they stood in their place, but then
after all the angels were standing in their place all the
shepherds came. And his son was one of the shepherds and
they come out there, but the angels wings were so big that
the shepherds couldn’t get to their marks. So the
shepherds are pushing all the angels and everyone’s
causing pandemonium and there isn’t enough room for
all of these wings, just causing enormous problem. Total
pandemonium breaks out. He said finally I couldn’t
believe it. I was mortified. My son came out of the group
and he said the angels are ruining everything. Oh, the angels
are ruining everything.
I think sometimes we feel like that don’t we? The
angels are ruining everything. Oh my goodness. But the fact
of the matter is it’s the angels that bring us praise
to God and a multitude of hosts saying “glory to God
in the highest and on earth peace goodwill to all.”
There’s nothing I like more in Christmas season, than
to sing the Christmas carols. Don’t you love singing
Christmas carols? One after another and I love to sing them
all. The spirit of Christmas is a preparation time. It’s
a personal time. It’s a praise time. It is a prosperity
time. And going on in this chapter the prophet Isaiah says,
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them. I will turn the
darkness into light before them and make the rough places
smooth. These are the things I will do. I will not forsake
Look at all of the prophecies and Christ fulfills them all.
And He leads His sheep. And we see that the prosperity isn’t
a bank balance. Prosperity isn’t saying that okay
now I’ve got more than I need. That’s not prosperity
at all. I’ve never met anyone in that category. I’ve
met lots of wealthy people, but guess what? They always
need a little more. They don’t quite have enough.
And that’s true with people who make the minimum wage
to people who make a thousand times the minimum wage.
about the bank account. Prosperity is about the spirit;
the spiritual account. The Spirit of Christmas. That Christ
will lead. That even though we can’t see the future
He is leading, He is guiding us as we will continue to take
the steps of faith and to move with Him, participating in
possibility living. Moving forward one day at a time trusting
and believing in Jesus Christ’s guidance.
of joy and happiness and goodness and God’s promises
will be filled. And so this is a time for us to prepare.
Spend some personal time with Him. To praise God and to
prosper as we follow His guidance and His leading.
Let us pray.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You. You are a God who is
at work this very moment guiding, leading, touching, upholding.
So give us the faith to live the possibilities that You
have given to us. To realize that as You who’ve been
active in history from day one that You are in process right
now of creating change and bringing hope and bringing peace.
So we thank You for the Christ Child, for baby Jesus, for
the peace, the joy and the love He brings into our hearts
and into our families and into our love. We love You, God.