Green Valley Sermons

Miracles of Christmas

Sunday, December 17, 2017         

Matthew 1:21

Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

What was your favorite Miracle at Christmas? We all know about the biggest one in the story of the first Christmas. Mary, a virgin, had a baby. This baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was God in the flesh. He was God’s Son in a very special way.

There is no greater miracle than this. God became a man and dwelt among us. He came to free us from the bondage of sin. He came to pay the price of our rebellion against the Father. He came, died, rose again, and sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede on our behalf with our only rightful judge.

What is your favorite miracle at Christmas? I have a memory, sort of. I mean, it is a memory that is attached to a picture, but it brings to my mind various pictures of what Christmas was like in my family before my father died.

The picture is of our Christmas tree, and in front of the tree is my father in a checkered flannel shirt. Susie is sitting on his lap. They are both smiling.

What memories of Christmas past does this picture bring to my mind? The heat for our house was a Warm Morning Model stove that we fueled with coal and wood we had cut earlier that year. There were days when Dad had the stove so hot that the metal pipe that went up through the roof as a chimney would be glowing red almost up to the ceiling. Some mornings we would pull on our pants, just enough to be decent, and come and gather around the stove to finish dressing.

I remember the year we got a bicycle for Christmas. My brother and I had worked on it for quite a while, taking it apart, sanding it down, painting it red-orange, and then re-assembling it to have a bow put on it on Christmas morning.

I remember Mom’s chocolate fudge that she made with black walnuts that some of us had gathered, hulled, and stored. Then we had to use a hammer to crack those nuts. A regular nut cracker would not work on them.

We used a sheet for the tree skirt.

We were not rich by any means, but we were a happy family with a mother and father who loved us. Christmas was always a special time. If for no other reason, we were all together sharing those special days. Dad worked long, hard hours and the days he did not work were always special.

When I was about 9 years old, my mother decided her children were going to get some kind of religious training. She sent us to the nearest church to our house. It was about two miles away, down Thomas Hollow to Smith Creek Road and up on the hill, past where we attended elementary school. The school was a one room school called Pleasant Hill Elementary. When it closed, someone bought it and remodeled it as a home. The church was Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church. It is still up on the hill above Smith Creek Road.

Christmas at the church was always remembered for the Christmas programs. We spent long hours preparing for the program. The church would be packed with people from all around and family members who came back to see the program.

So, Pastor, where is your favorite miracle in all of this?

It is all a miracle. All the memories. All the moments that we shared at home, at school, at church.

What were the miracles you experienced? What Christmas miracles do you remember?

I never want you to forget the most important miracle. God providing salvation for us. Jesus came and showed us how to live. Jesus came and helped us to see that sin can be forgiven. We can be restored to a relationship with God. He really does want us to realize that He is Emmanuel, God with us!

Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

Our sin has separated us from our Heavenly Father. Through Jesus Christ, He restores us and saves us from this separation. Forgiveness is available if we will claim it, accept, trust Him to give it.

This one verse may bring back to you the full story of Christmas. She shall bring forth a son… The trip to Bethlehem, the no room lines from the Innkeeper, the angels announcing the birth to the shepherds. The wise men coming from afar, following the star and bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Like the picture of Dad and Sue in front of the Christmas tree for me, this verse can remind us of the full story of the life of Jesus.

The miracle of Christmas may be for you, the time when you came to believe that God really does love you. When you committed yourself to follow Him and allow Him to be Lord of your life. It may be the time when you realized life was not just about you, but about bringing glory to our Heavenly Father, and helping others to experience the love and grace that you have come to know.

Jesus is our deliverance from all that would hold us down and keep us from becoming all that God wants us to be.

Christmas is about learning that the real joy of gift exchange is not in getting gifts, but in giving of yourself to God and to others.

Christmas is about determining to stay on track with the mission and purpose of our lives. Mary and Joseph understood that Jesus had a purpose and a mission, that God provided directions, and that they had to be determined to follow those directions.

Mary and Joseph were determined to follow the will of God. The miracle of Christmas is about our being determined to follow the directions of God’s will for our lives. God has a plan, God has a purpose, and God has given us potential to be what someone else needs in order to come to know the love of God.

My memories, when shared, spark other memories for you. It is important that we share with others what God has done for us. Our experiences will help others to believe they are loved by God. When we share what God has done in and through us, others will believe that He can work through them as well.

God is with us. He will love and lead us as we continue to commit ourselves to Him. He will use us to touch the lives of those we love as well.

God works miracles when we are open to receive them. God uses us to work miracles in the lives of others.

What miracles have you experienced? What miracles have you shared with others to encourage them to trust God?

When we pray, God will lead us to listen to Him and pray that His will be done, in our lives and in the lives of those we love.

The biggest miracle of all is the miracle that God is with us. He has not given up on us, even though we may think He has, or even that He should.

He loves us and that love will not change.

Have you accepted this miracle? Are you clinging to this truth? Will you hold on to the love of God no matter what?

If we make it to heaven it will only be by the grace of God. It will be by the miracle of Christmas. If you are in touch with God, it is by the miracle of Christmas that this is made possible.

Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”