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DECEMBER 24 2016 MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

Merry Christmas Eve!

 

Merry Christmas Eve! It is good to be here with family. Those in the household of faith are a truer family than even our own earthly families.

 

            And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

(Mark 3:31-35 ESV)

 

Our own families may not have genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and, if they do, then we are especially blessed. However, among those who have received faith in the Lord Jesus, we share not only a common faith and a common love for the Lord, but we share a common life. It is the divine life of God Himself dispensed into our human spirits! This is why we are family. We have the life of God within us! This life is protecting us from a multitude of dangers, many of which we are unaware. It is bringing us from faith to faith and from glory to glory! This is why it is good to be here tonight.

 

My favorite Christmas songs are those that proclaim the birth of our Savior. Songs that we are singing tonight. There are general Christmas songs that I like, too. Songs that simply celebrate the season but that do not reference the Lord Jesus directly. There are some that I hate, like Santa Baby, but there are good ones, too. One of my favorites is this one:

 

[Play There is No Place like Home for the Holidays] That song is by Perry Como. Como was an Italian American from Pennsylvania and one of the most popular singers in the U.S. throughout the last century. He was really Italian. Although he was born here he could not speak English until he entered school because all they spoke was Italian in his home.

 

Another favorite of the general songs is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Now, there is one line in the song that I do not like:

“Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow“

 

Trivia question: who were the Fates? In mythology, they were the three goddesses who preside over the birth and life of humans. Each person's destiny was thought of as a thread spun, measured, and cut by the three Fates, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.

 

It’s hard to get rid of paganism! But, despite that line, the song is beautiful.

 

 

 

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on, our troubles will be miles away.”

 

That song was written and performed in 1944. That was 72 years ago. It sings of troubles. Troubles were a part of life in 1944. Troubles were a part of life in the year 44. They were a part of life in the year 1044. They are part of life every year. They are a part of life now, in 2016.

 

If you find yourself with troubles this time of year, you are not alone. The reason that trouble is part of life is because sin is a part of life. Much, if not most, of our trouble is because of our own sin. If not ours, then someone close to us. If we had less sin in our life then we would have less trouble in our life.

 

But this is what Christmas is about. If the Christmas story is true, and it certainly is, then God the Son came to this sin-filled planet to deliver us from our own sin and even from the sins of others.

 

The Christmas story is this: God loved you enough and cares about you enough that he sent his own Son so that you will not have to suffer what His Son suffered because of sin.

 

What makes Christmas merry is that the story is true!

 

When we embrace the story of the incarnation our troubles will be out of sight. They will be less and less as the years go by until that perfect day.