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Christmas Eve

December 24, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Christmas

Passage: Luke 2:1–2:7

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Luke 2:1-7
Date: December 24th, 2019; Christmas Eve
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • Dear friends, on this Holy Night prophesies have been fulfilled.
  • Prophesies of hope, and forgiveness, and light.  Prophecies of life!
  • Prophesies that go all the way back to when sin, and despair, and darkness, and death entered into creation.
  • All of the troubles, pain, and suffering we experience in this life go back to that moment when our first parents fell in the Garden of Eden.  
  • Death goes back to that moment when Adam and Eve chose to listen to the deceitful words of the serpent instead of the truthful Word of God.  
  • Sin is much more than bad things that we think and say and do.  It is much more than making a few mistakes here and there.
  • Sin is enmity with God.  
  • Sin alienates us from God and gives us hostile minds towards him and his will for our lives.
  • Sin is no joke.
  • Consider how sin has led to creation groaning with earthquakes and floods and tornadoes.  So much disaster and devastation.
  • Consider how sin has ruined our relationships with each other.  The hatred and hurt.  The divisions and discord.  The jealousy and greed.  The arguments, and conflicts, and wars.
  • Consider how sin has led to injuries, and illness, and disease.  The pain and suffering of our breaking and aching bodies.     
  • Consider how sin has caused death to enter into God’s creation.  The agony of being separated from those we love.  The fear of our own mortality.
  • Sin is no joke and it has brought misery into this world and into our lives.
  • But, dear friends, on this Holy Night prophesies have been fulfilled.
  • Prophesies of hope, and forgiveness, and light.  Prophecies of life!
  • God has had mercy on us and has not left us to suffer with no hope.
  • The Creator promised that he would restore his creation - and that he would restore us - who are created in his image. 
  • This Holy Night when Joseph and Mary huddled together in a stable, placing Jesus in a feeding trough – it might seem to be nothing but ordinary.  
  • It might seem like an ordinary story about an ordinary young couple with a newborn who are down on their luck.  
  • But it’s not ordinary.  It’s anything but ordinary. 
  • It’s truly astonishing and miraculous that God has fulfilled his promise to save us as that bright star shines over the little town of Bethlehem.
  • Prophesies about our Messiah have been fulfilled this Holy Night. 
  • Isaiah prophesied centuries before the birth of Jesus, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]”.
  • Prophecies are fulfilled as the calloused hands of the carpenter Joseph helped his virgin bride to find cover for the night in a place where animals live and feed.  
  • There, Mary, who had conceived by the Holy Spirit nine months earlier, now gives birth to the Son of God.
  • The Christ who was promised and prophesied of old, who would actively fulfill God’s Law on our behalf, who would take all of our sin upon himself, who would die in our place, who would rise from the dead in Easter victory - this Christ is laid in a manger.
  • It truly is a Holy Night!
  • And the loving Father of this little One, this Holy Child of Bethlehem, this Son begotten in eternity and born of a virgin, wants all to hear this Good News.
  • Heaven itself is filled with joy and the Lord God Almighty dispatches a messenger to proclaim the Gospel on this Holy Night to the shepherds of the field.
  • And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  
  • And the angel said to them, "Fear not; for behold, I bring you Good News of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
  • Now the shepherds knew it was a Holy Night!
  • Following the messenger's announcement of this great and mighty wonder, suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!"
  • Now heaven and nature sing!  Now angels and archangels and all the company of heaven laud and magnify his glorious name, evermore praising him and singing and confessing and teaching and believing that this baby is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Saviour of the world, the Word who has become flesh and dwells among us.
  • By the gracious working of the Holy Spirit through this Word, you and I believe that this Jesus lying in a manger is the Christ, the Son of God - and so believing have life in his name (John 20:31).
  • Dear friends, I invite you to receive the treasure of this Holy Night - God’s gift of salvation - through all of the days of your life.  
  • Come and receive his gifts at church.  Take your concerns to him in prayer.  Receive his forgiveness, peace, and life.  
  • Christ has not come to dwell with us once or twice a year, but every moment of our lives.   
  • On this Holy Night prophesies have been fulfilled.
  • Prophesies of hope, and forgiveness, and light.  Prophecies of life!
  • On this Holy Night around 2000 years ago, the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
  • Tonight, we too glorify and praise God for all that we have heard and seen, as it has been told to us.  
  • Merry Christmas!  Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

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Second Sunday after Christmas

December 29, 2019

First Sunday after Christmas

December 25, 2019

The Nativity of Our Lord