the big idea:
Why is Christmas so loved and so dear? There is something about Christmas that draws us in, something about what it brings us, something about its message that we all need. The answer, as the theme suggests, is love. We all need love, but we also need to understand what the love we really need is. This is a love that helps us see our situation for what it really is and then not only prescribes the solution, but actually provides it.
“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:16-20).
December 3: Truth (The Wake-Up Call)
The story of God’s people is like a broken record. All throughout the ages, again and again we forget who we are. We get distracted. Life and sin is a raging river that sweeps us up and carries us along. We need God to rend the heavens like he’s done so many times before, to come down, shake us up and wake us up (before it’s too late!) We need some tough love.
Scriptures: 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 13:32-37; Psalm 24
Message: Isaiah 63:16b,17; 64:1-8
December 10: Humility (A Look In the Mirror)
It’s just human to view our situation from our own vantage point. Yet, our vantage point is skewed. Of course, we’re going to want to think that we’re right, that our motives are pure, that we’ve got the other person in mind. We need a mirror that will show us what we really need to see—the truth. We need someone who loves us enough to be honest with us.
Scriptures: 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8; Psalm 85
Message: Isaiah 40:1-11
December 17: Deliverance
A wake-up call and the honest truth about ourselves—yes, we NEED these things; but, man, the truth is more than a little oppressive. What we need now is a little hope, a little help. Maybe more than a little help. We need deliverance. We need a savior!
Scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28; Psalm 71
Message: Isaiah 61:1-3, 10, 11
December 24 (Christmas Eve): God Himself
Through this series we’ve come to see what we really need: a wake-up call, the honest truth and a savior. But today we’ll see that not just any savior will do. This world, including us, is broken beyond repair—human repair. We need a Savior who can fix us. We need God himself.
Scriptures: Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-20; Psalm 96
Message: Isaiah 9:2-7
December 25 (Christmas Day): Good News
Christmas is a time when people think about and long for peace—in their own lives, in the world around us. Yet, no matter how many Christmases go by, peace continues to elude us. At least, when we’re looking for a worldly kind of peace. Christmas is truly good news, because it’s a message of true peace, peace with God and peace within ourselves.
Scriptures: Isaiah 52:7-10; Hebrews 1;1-9; John 1:1-14
Message: Isaiah 52:7-10
December 31 (New Year’s Eve): Eternal Perspective
New Year’s helps us remember God’s presence throughout our lives. While another year is passing, and we look forward to the coming year, we recognize that in both our joys and our sorrows, God has been and is with us. It is his gracious presence in our lives that not only gives us purpose but also fills us with peace. It is his presence that gives us hope for the future. Lord, give us an eternal perspective on your presence!
Scriptures: Romans 8:31-39
Message: Psalm 90:1-17