December 20, 2015
Christmas captivates us like no other holiday on our calendar. When we are young, birthdays are anticipated and exciting, but the older we become birthdays are associated with less anticipation and with more dread. We like July 4 and Thanksgiving in America, but those days pass quickly and do not have the same attraction to family and festivity. No, Christmas is the ultimate holiday — the pinnacle day on the calendar for most people. We write songs about it (“I’ll be home for Christmas” — not July 4!). We write books about it: out of curiosity I searched Amazon’s Kindle store for books about Christmas this week and came up with 33,183 hits! We produce movies about Christmas (15,928 hits on Amazon — assuming each one is two hours long, you could watch Christmas movies 24 hours per day for over 3-1/2 years without repeating any movies). We want “A Norman Rockwell Christmas,” We’re “…Dreaming of a White Christmas,” we fret about “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t,” we try and find the “Lost Christmas,” and we like miracles on Christmas, especially ones like “The Miracle on 34th Street.”
As I thought about that this week, I was reminded again not only how much people love Christmas — the food, the cool weather, the family reunions, and more. But there is something more associated with Christmas. It’s about dreams. Christmas epitomizes our deepest longings and desires — to get our Christmas wish means we get satisfaction and contentment and peace and all our troubles are gone. To miss out on our Christmas dreams means that we still have problems (next time you watch a Christmas movie or see an advertisement, see if that isn’t correct). Christmas has become a modern fairy tale.
Of course, the genuine Christmas story did involve a dream and it was about a gift — but it was all packaged in Christ. Christmas is satisfying and does fulfill our dreams, but only if our dreams are for salvation and freedom from sin. You know that and I know that. But it is good to be reminded about the simplicity and grandeur of the advent of Christ. So this morning, as we prepare for this week’s Christmas celebration, I invite you to look with me at Matthew’s account of Christ’s advent, and see five scenes in the advent of Christ — “Christmas dreams in five scenes,” if you will.
As we look at this so familiar story, we will be reminded that —
Christ’s birth account demonstrates Christ’s messianic role.
- A Marriage Planned (v. 18)
- A Husband Decides (v. 19)
- An Angel Intercedes (vv. 20-21)
- A Prophet Speaks (vv. 22-23)
- A Marriage Consummated (vv. 24-25)
Download the rest of this sermon from Matthew 1:18-25.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.