This is the text of a message that I delivered at the Christmas morning service last year, feel free to borrow/plagiarise/steal as you see fit. I wrapped up each of the objects like presents and had my daughter help me open each one.
Item 1: A Map/AtoZ
I think that most of the parents will agree with me when I say that traveling any distance with children is not much fun.
The excellent timing that they seem to have with toilet breaks, the constant cries of “Are we there yet?” (and the kids are worse!)
A friend of mine recently bought a couple of those in-car DVD players that strap over the back of the seats so that his young daughters could watch a film or cartoons on long trips rather than making lots of noise.
The only problem is that now his oldest daughter insists on giving a running commentary on the film so that her parents can enjoy it too.
Have you noticed how there is a lot of traveling going on in the Bible? First there was Noah who went on a very long boat trip. Then there was Abraham who traveled hundreds of miles to be where God wanted him and of course there was Moses who had all of God’s people trailing around after him in the desert for forty years.
Joseph and Mary were traveling from their home in Nazareth to Joseph’s home town of Bethlehem so they could pay their taxes. The journey would have taken them about a week and remember that Mary was heavily pregnant and her baby was nearly ready to be born!
Item 2: Santa
Did anyone see Father Christmas last night? Maybe he brought you some presents. The problem with Santa is that like a lot of the things we do at Christmas, he tends to take over; All the gifts and the food that we get take up so much of our time and space that we don’t leave any room for anything else!
Because of all the people in Bethlehem Joseph and Mary couldn’t find anywhere to stay, all of the inns were full! Every door they knocked on gave the same response; “Sorry, no room”
We can be a bit like that sometimes; our lives get so full up with all the things around us, especially at this time of year.
All the cards and presents, all the food and drink, all the family and friends.
We’ve only got a little Christmas tree this year but there was so much stuff underneath it that there was no room for anything else! Now we’ve got a recycling box full of Christmas paper with no room and a house full of toys with no room… We get so busy with it all that we have no room for our saviour Jesus Christ. What room will you be able to offer Jesus when He comes knocking on the door of your heart this Christmas day?
We know that there was someone who found some room for Joseph and Mary that night in Bethlehem. It might have only been a stable where the animals were kept but it was warm and dry and God used it.
Item 3: Baby Jesus
And this is what God did in that stable. Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ was born that night, God himself came down to live with His creation! Isn’t it amazing that the same God who created the whole Universe just by speaking was born as a little helpless baby. It didn’t just happen by accident though, God had it all planned from before he created the world! He even told people how and where it would happen hundreds of years before it did!
A king should be born in a palace, not in a musty old stable, but God chose to send His son into the world like this, not just to rule over us but to save us.
Item 4: Cross
The really great news is though that Jesus didn’t stay as that little baby, He grew up to be a great man. Jesus did many wonderful things that we can read about in the Bible: He made blind people see, he made lame people walk, he even brought a little girl back from the dead! But the most important thing of all is that time we celebrate in a few months. When Jesus went to the cross and died to take the punishment for all our sins and the the wonderful good news that God raised him up from the dead and He’s alive today in heaven.
tem 5: Mobile Phone
Those of you with little brothers or sisters will know that when a new baby is born in a family the mum and dad want to tell everyone all about it and they want to show it off to the whole world! Well when God’s son was born in that stable in Bethlehem He wanted to tell the whole world too. God sent His Angels out into the fields around Bethlehem to tell people what had happened:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.
Everyone who came to see the baby Jesus was invited, from the Shepherds to the Kings. Christmas is a time to spend with your family; around the tree with the presents, coming to church together, being around the table with all the food then later watching Dad doze off in front of the TV!
But If you really want to take part in Christmas then there is only one family that you need to be a member of, that is God’s family. And through that little baby born all those years ago and through that man who died on the cross and rose up from the dead you to can be a member of God’s family. All you need to do is to turn to God, say sorry for your sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.