Tiny Baby, Enormous Gift

12-25-2022

Message Title: Tiny Baby, Enormous Gift
Theme: CHRISTMAS SUNDAY!
Season: CHRISTMAS 1
Main Text:
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 98; Luke 1:46-55; Luke 2:1-20; John 1:1-14; Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 1:1-4
RCL Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14, (15-20); Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20; Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12); John 1:1-14
Focus: God came as a helpless baby to heal the world.
Function: To celebrate God’s plan through the birth of Jesus.
Other Notes: JAMMIES TO CHURCH – jammie parade

INTRO: Merry Christmas! Our Savior is Born! Everyone got their cocoa and treats? I’m sure there is plenty of treats left over. Any great Christmas Jammies or sweaters we need to notice?

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT:

  1. Do the kids wait to open gifts until the adults are there?
  2. Do you open your stockings before the presents or after?
  3. Do you take turns opening gifts or all at once?

TRANSITION: Typically, this is a time for a sermon but I want to do something different today since it is only about once a decade that we get Christmas on a Sunday. We are going to read a series of scripture together to celebrate the significance of God coming as a helpless baby as a gift for all. (this will function similar to our Bible Study).

If you’re willing to be a reader raise your hand – I’ll pass out a passage to you.

GROUP ACTIVITY:

Promises Kept & Praises Sung

Isaiah 9:2-7 You have made the nation great; you have increased its joy. They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest, as those who divide plunder rejoice. As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them, the staff on their shoulders, and the rod of their oppressor. Because every boot of the thundering warriors, and every garment rolled in blood will be burned, fuel for the fire. A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be vast authority and endless peace for David’s throne and for his kingdom, establishing and sustaining it with justice and righteousness now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of heavenly forces will do this.

Psalm 98 Sing to the LORD a new song because he has done wonderful things! His own strong hand and his own holy arm have won the victory! The LORD has made his salvation widely known; he has revealed his righteousness in the eyes of all the nations. God has remembered his loyal love and faithfulness to the house of Israel; every corner of the earth has seen our God’s salvation. Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth! Be happy! Rejoice out loud! Sing your praises! Sing your praises to the LORD with the lyre— with the lyre and the sound of music. With trumpets and a horn blast, shout triumphantly before the LORD, the king! Let the sea and everything in it roar; the world and all its inhabitants too. Let all the rivers clap their hands; let the mountains rejoice out loud altogether before the LORD because he is coming to establish justice on the earth! He will establish justice in the world rightly; he will establish justice among all people fairly.

Luke 1: 46-55 46 Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord!

47 In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. 48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored 49 because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name. 50 He shows mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors him as God. 51 He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations. 52 He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed. 54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, 55 just as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”

Response: Any themes to note?consistent praises or actions of God

The Birth

Luke 2:1-20 In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom. Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.” When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.

Response: Anything new stand out?For me, the shepherds sharing the story was a new thing.

The Significance

John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. A man named John was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light. The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world. The light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world didn’t recognize the light. The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God. The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

Response: Why would John include this at the beginning of his Gospel?Why not be like the other gospels?

The Impact

Titus 2:11-14 The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It educates us so that we can live sensible, ethical, and godly lives right now by rejecting ungodly lives and the desires of this world. At the same time we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great God and savior Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us in order to rescue us from every kind of lawless behavior, and cleanse a special people for himself who are eager to do good actions.

Titus 3:4-7 But “when God our savior’s kindness and love appeared, he saved us because of his mercy, not because of righteous things we had done. He did it through the washing of new birth and the renewing by the Holy Spirit, which God poured out upon us generously through Jesus Christ our savior. So, since we have been made righteous by his grace, we can inherit the hope for eternal life.”

Hebrews 1:1-4 In the past, God spoke through the prophets to our ancestors in many times and many ways. In these final days, though, he spoke to us through a Son. God made his Son the heir of everything and created the world through him. The Son is the light of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s being. He maintains everything with his powerful message. After he carried out the cleansing of people from their sins, he sat down at the right side of the highest majesty. And the Son became so much greater than the other messengers, such as angels, that he received a more important title than theirs. 

Response: Why is Christmas good news?the pressure is off our shoulders, its in God’s hands.

APPLICATION: Jesus is the reason we celebrate. How we celebrate varies depending on your cultural background. Eggnog, Hot Cocoa, Wassail. Oyster stew, Cookies, Birthday Cake, Gifts given, Gifts received, Time spent together: All of it celebrates the birth of Jesus. Hope for restoration.

CONCLUSION:  God turned this world upside down through the birth of Jesus and flipped expectations changing the world through a tiny baby. Join in the celebrations because Jesus is born! What an enormous gift! Our hope is here! Merry Christmas!

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