I love everything about Christmas. The decorations. The lights. The snow. The music. And yes, Christmas movies. My wife and I began a tradition of watching “White Christmas” when we were first married, and last year we watched it in Vermont for the first time. “Vermont should be beautiful this time of year, all that snow…” Nope, just like the movie, it was 70 degrees on Christmas Eve.
I have noticed over the years that there is one recurring theme in every Christmas movie, even if it has nothing to do with the real Christmas story: HOPE. In “White Christmas,” it is the hope of snow and true love on Christmas. In “It’s a Wonderful Life” it is the hope of finding purpose and joy in life again. In “How the Grinch Saved Christmas” it is the hope of even the most depraved person finding their heart and caring for others again. We could go on and on. Hope–in every one.
I think this is because innately, people know that things are not the way they should be, and if a miracle is ever going to happen, a miracle that changes things, then why not on Christmas? But as Christians, we know that the greatest miracle that ever could happen already happened on Christmas. He is the reason for Christmas. God was in the manger that night. God entered into our suffering world, physically. God Himself appeared in the flesh, in the person of Jesus Christ. God is not “out there,” God is here. Jesus is Immanuel–God with us. That is why we celebrate Christmas, because Jesus didn’t just give us hope in the past, Jesus’ salvation and presence today gives us hope today.
Our community and our world need hope, and Christmas gives some unique opportunities to share true, lasting hope–even gospel hope! I will be preaching 3 sermons leading up to and including Christmas, to prepare our hearts as we seek to celebrate the Savior:
- Jesus is the Hope of Christmas Because God Always Keeps His Promises
(December 11, Matthew 1:1-17, the Genealogy of Jesus)
- Jesus is the Hope of Christmas Because He Will Save His People From Their Sins
(December 18, Matthew 1:18-25, the Birth of Christ from Joseph’s perspective)
- Jesus is the Hope of Christmas Because He Offers Eternal Joy For All People
(December 25, Matthew 2:1-12, The Visit of the Wise Men)
I can’t wait to celebrate Jesus with you–the true hope of Christmas! And yes, I am hoping for a white Christmas.
2 Replies to “Jesus Is the Hope of Christmas: Our 2016 Advent Sermon Series”
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Thanks Tim, for this email. I pray all is well with you and yours as you minister in Vermont. You are missed here in Bellingham!! Would have loved to get to know you and your wife better but that didn’t happen as we were gone for 6 months each year. My husband, John, went to be with the Lord on July 2 leaving a huge hole in the family however God is so gracious, kind, protecting, caring and loving to us so we can’t complain. One day I’ll see John again!
I’m with you “let it snow”. We are expecting snow tonight and tomorrow in B’ham. Yeah!!