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The Day After Christmas

December 26, 2021   /   Forest Park Church

At the end of the day, when all the gifts have been opened and there’s nothing under the tree then Christmas holiday is over. For many it is anticlimactic. However, what comes after Christmas is perhaps the most important part

  • I’m not talking about the after Christmas sales.

  • What followed Christ’s birth was important.

  • And is still important for many reasons.

Luke 2:17

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

The presents have all been opened and the decorations soon will be put away. Let me ask you a simple question, what will you do tomorrow.

This passage says that there are 3 things we should be about.

I.

vs. 19. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

  • After Christmas is good time to reflect on what you have just seen and heard.

  • How many times have you heard the Christmas story?

  • I’m sure most of you could come up here today, and tell the story.

If we’re not careful after awhile we’ve

  • heard enough sermons,

  • prayed enough prayers

  • rubbed up against the truth long enough to get a callous on your heart so the real truth cannot penetrate deep into your daily life.

Familiarity breeds contempt. The first way to respond to the gospel message is to make it fresh in your heart by pondering it in a new way.

C.S. Lewis said, “we don’t need to be told new ideas so much as we need to be reminded of old truths”

As this year draws to a close maybe we need to remember the truth that God gave himself for us.

  • He was born as one of us so that each of us might be born again into the family of God.

  • That baby born in Bethlehem almost 2000 years ago is the savior of all of us.

It is a healthy thing for us to stop and ponder our relationship with the savior of this world.

 

Some possible thoughts to Ponder:

  1.                                                                                                                            
    •                                                                                                                                    
    •                                                                                                                                    
    •                                                                                                                                    
    •                                                                                                                                     

    The baby whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas is easily hidden beneath the piles of traditions and cultural observances of the season.

    II. Praising

    vs. 20

    The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

    The shepherds had witnessed the world’s greatest birth announcement. I am sure you have heard and read those words many times but let me just highlight one word and that is the word YOU.

    Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

    The angels said to the shepherds:

    • I bring YOU good news (of great joy for all the people). A savior has been born to YOU.

    • This is a sign for YOU. YOU will find the baby…

    • The angel’s message to the shepherds was that Jesus is YOUR Savior,

    • YOUR King, YOUR Christ,

    • YOUR gift – straight from God.

    Sometimes we focus on the fact that ‘God so loved the WORLD’ that we forget ‘God so loved YOU that He gave His only Son’.

    Praise accomplishes 4 things in our Life:

    1. Praise returns our focus to God.

    In our often “selfie” focused world, we need this constant reminder – life is not all about us.

    • We may know that in our heads, but yet our hearts think differently so often.

    • We’re prone to selfishness,

    • God desires our eyes be set firmly on Him, because that’s where our true hope is found.

    • He is worthy of our praise, no matter what we face from day to day.

    Psa. 150:2

    “Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!”

    2. Praise brings us to a place of humility.

    We remember our dependency on God, as we acknowledge our need for Him. We admit and recognize that we’re not in control, but He is. He is above all.

    Psa. 95:2-3

    Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”

    3. Praise leaves no room for complaining and negativity.

    • Sometimes even within our prayers, we can tend to complain about our problems.

    • God knows our hearts.

    • And He cares about all that concerns us.

    Through praise, we’re focused on Him, no longer allowing too much attention to be centered around the struggles.

    • We’re reminded of what He has already done in our lives.

    • We’re reminded that He knows what concerns us, and is capable of taking care of all that burdens us.

    Heb. 13:15. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

    4. Praise reminds us of our purpose.

    1 Pet. 2:9

    “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;”

    “We have become a generation of people who worship our work, work at our play and play at our worship.”

    Leonard Sweet wrote: “Our pews are occupied by people who want to be moved, but who don’t want to move.” We crave the experience of worship but don’t work towards it. But worship is what we were created for.

    God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

    III. Sharing

    vs. 17-18

    When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

    Treasuring Christ is something we do not by keeping Him to ourselves but by making Him know to the whole world.

    In our very love of the church we fail to give the glad tidings to the world; in our zeal for the truth we forget to publish it.

    • We must learn that the Good News needs not just to be cherished, but needs to be told?

    • All people need to hear it.

    Saving knowledge is diffused over the earth, not like sunlight but like torchlight, which is passed from hand to hand. — James Strachan

    • Just like the shepherds who went away the next day telling everyone they met, there are so many who have yet to come and see Jesus.

    • Like the angels who interrupted the shepherds sleep the world today needs the light of Christ to come and wake us up from our sleep and point us to the one who can truly save.

    Isaiah 9:2   The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned… 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Conclusion:

     

    During the American Revolution the Battle of Blue Licks was fought at the stream that bears that name. The battle never should have been fought, for it was fought after the war was over! News traveled slowly in those days. Blue Licks is in Kentucky, and there was no quick communication over the Appalachian mountains. No one knew the war was over.

     

    • Christ won the victory over evil at Calvary and the tomb.

    • All that is left for us to do is tell the good news. (Gospel)

    • The Battle is over and Christ has won!

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