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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12242014 Christmas Eve Late Service

Sermon Audio

December 24, 2014
Why celebrate?
Gracious, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  As we come to celebrate Your birth in Bethlehem, open our hearts to You in a more deep and profound way on this Christmas Eve!  AMEN.

Tonight we gather to celebrate and remember the real reason for the season, Jesus Christ.  As we gather here at the church, around the Advent Wreath with the White Candle and especially around the manger, a question comes to mind.  Why celebrate?

For what reason does the church always set aside Christmas Eve to celebrate Jesus birth?  In our current culture our society takes potshots at the validity of Jesus for us today.  Philosophers use logic and social norms to justify the need to forget Jesus.  Our modern capitalistic world brings out Christmas in September.  Sales begin in earnest the week of and especially the days after Thanksgiving.  People put up displays and figurines in their yards and homes and we have parades, weeks and even sometimes before Thanksgiving calling them Christmas Parades, only to take our displays and decorations down December 26th.

But the reality is Christmas doesn’t start in September, October, November or even most of December.  The real Christmas season starts tonight, December 24th at sunset.  But I return to the question, “Why celebrate?”  Why should the church and members of congregations across the globe celebrate Christmas?  Why should we the people of Emmanuel celebrate?

When Apollo 8, launched on December 21, 1968, the three men who left the earth’s gravitational pull for the first time embarked on a mission of historic proportion.  On December 24th, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders while circling the moon, shared the beginning of Genesis where God created the World.  In sharing the Creation story, the astronauts shared their faith as well as celebrated an achievement on the path to man’s setting foot on the moon only 7 months later.

Tonight we celebrate a milestone on the path of salvation history for all of mankind.  Here before us is a manger that represents our celebrating a gift and especially a milestone.  But, I return to the question, ‘why celebrate’?  We celebrate Christmas, because God has come to visit!  We celebrate Christmas, because, God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for you and for me.  We celebrate, because God comes offering Himself for all of mankind and it begins in the manger and is ultimately and eternally fulfilled on the Cross of Calvary for all of mankind including you and for me.

God in offering us the gift of His Son, gives us the best reason to celebrate.  Whether soldiers who are far from home walking the line to insure our safety.  Police officers, first responders, nurses, medical staff or even those working in Good Samaritan or Wheat Ridge, God came for all of them and for each of us gathered here this evening. 

So tonight we celebrate both as a witness for our culture, and because of God’s gift to us in the manger.  Let’s share this gift and celebrate with our hearts, heads and voices and with the choir of angels who gather tonight to proclaim, for all of mankind and for all of us saints gathered here a true saying.  “Emmanuel” – God is with us!  AMEN!

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