Christmas

The Christmas We Forget: "Out of the Darkness"

Edmund Brooks

For many of us, Christmas is about joy, smiling children, people giving grace to each other in the “spirit of Christmas”. But Christmas is—and always has been—also a time of darkness and despair. When we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus with the shepherds and animals giving Him glory, we often forget that what followed was the slaughter of any baby boys born in that area over a period of two years in an attempt to kill the baby we celebrate. In this slaughter humanity showed the depths of sin and darkness it is willing to embrace. But God didn’t allow the story to end there. In the Christmas event He took the darkness and He turned it into light. The very act of gift giving is a way of remembering the gift of light God gave the world.

THE CHRISTMAS WE FORGET - Out of the Darkness study guide

Christmas People: "Jesus"

Randy Christian

Surely everyone understands that Jesus is the central person in the Christmas story.  But why?  To understand that, we need to know more about Jesus himself, and about the “Christ” of “Christmas”.  Who was he, and who exactly was the “Christ”—the Messiah of God

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Jesus study guide

Christmas People: "Shepherds"

Randy Christian

Shepherds were extremely common in first century Palestine.  So, it makes sense, but also is a little confusing, that God would grant them a special role in the welcoming of the Messiah to planet earth.  What was that role, and why did he pick common shepherds?  What should we learn from this about celebrating Christmas?

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Shepherds study guide

Christmas People: "Joseph"

Randy Christian

Joseph, one of the “royal family” of Christmas, was also the outsider.  He wasn’t the Messiah—he wasn’t even carrying the Messiah.  But he was tasked with protecting the baby God became and teach him as a Father.  But we know little about Joseph and therefore tend to miss the important life lessons he teaches us in the Christmas story.

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Joseph study guide

Christmas People: "Mary"

Randy Christian

When we think of the people we associate with Christmas, several are likely to come to everyone’s mind—and one of these has to be Mary.  When we realize who Mary actually was, and put ourselves in her place as she discovered she was pregnant with the Messiah, we not only grow in our respect for her, but in our ability to learn from her.

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Mary study guide

Birthday Party for Jesus

Randy Christian

“Birthday Party for Jesus”
This year of Christmas falls on a Sunday. We do not miss our worship services or say things like, “Christmas is about family”, because it isn’t! Christmas is a birthday— Jesus’ birthday! It isn’t about me, you, or our families. It’s about HIM! So, this year instead of having our normal services, we will worship the Lord by celebrating His birthday with a big Birthday Party for Jesus!

Christmas Is - Forgiveness

Randy Christian

So, do you struggle with forgiveness? Most people would see forgiveness as part of the “Christmas spirit”. But do they understand that forgiveness is actually the design of the original Christmas? Grace and Trust are given by Jesus and by us— and the result of that is forgiveness. When we understand that, we celebrate differently, because we are aware of the gift God has given us. AND we are able to pass that gift on to others because we have received it first!

CHRISTMAS IS - Forgiveness Study Guide

Christmas Is - Trust

Randy Christian

Trust isn’t a word most people immediately associate with Christmas. But trust is part of faith— and faith is how we accept THE Christmas Present. So, what is trust? How do we trust— especially when we don’t FEEl trust? And how can we make trust a part of this Christmas celebration?

CHRISTMAS IS - Trust Study Guide

Christmas Is - Grace

Randy Christian

To understand Christmas, we have to first understand that Christmas is Grace! But “grace” is a “church word” — a word that is used in church gatherings by people who rarely can define or explain it to each other, much less to those in the world around them. We need to understand grace — and the inherent link between Christmas and grace. Because Christmas is grace!

CHRISTMAS IS - Grace Study Guide

THE UNCHANGING CHRISTMAS: So What?

December 20, 2015
Randy Christian
If Christmas is and always has been about the birth of Jesus, what does that mean for us today and in the future? How can we make sure we are focused on the Lord during this season, and not cultural diversions? How can we pass that on to others—including later generations? The world has one answer. Some Christians have another. But the “so what” isn’t different today from what it has ever been. The “so what” is Jesus.

CHRISTMAS CAROL: Christmas Medley

December 22, 2013Randy Christian

The final installment of the “Christmas Carol” series gives us a chance to look at a medley of popular Christmas songs “White Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, “Rockin’ ‘Round the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bells”. These songs combine to bring most of us to memories of Christmas past. But how well do they represent the real Christmas? As we explore the answer we focus on the one Christmas is all about!

CHRISTMAS CAROL: Silent Holy Night

December 15, 2013Randy Christian

These two “Night” songs consistently rank among the most beloved of Christmas songs. Both emphasize the beauty and simplicity of the night, using that imagery to reflect on the meaning of the Christmas event. Both have been relied on by people for generations to give hope. Is their picture of hope true? We invite you to join us for the answer!

CHRISTMAS CAROL: Mary, Did You Know?

December 8, 2013Randy Christian

Among the most popular modern Christmas songs, “Mary Did You Know” focuses on Mary, and a more human Mary at that. The song explores the Christmas event from Mary’s perspective. As popular as it is, does the song accurately reflect what scripture says about Mary and Jesus? Join us as we explore “Mary Did You Know?”

CHRISTMAS CAROL: Away In A Manger

December 1, 2013Randy Christian

“Christmas Carol” is a four part series in which we look at popular Christmas songs, exploring why these songs are so popular and whether they agree with the Biblical teaching about Christmas. Add to that some fun with the music itself and we have a series designed to help us not only celebrate Christmas, but celebrate the Christ himself! The series opens with a look at one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, “Away in a Manger”.

CHRISTMAS TEXT: Birth

December 23, 2012Randy Christian

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. We have all heard the story many times. Have we heard the story correctly? Is the Christmas story we’ve heard true? How do we know? This week we look at the scriptural text and what it actually says about Jesus’ birth, so that we celebrate the true birth of Jesus!

CHRISTMAS TEXT: Incarnation

December 16, 2012Randy Christian

Who can understand God’s ways? He isn’t like us-and he doesn’t do the things we would do. The incarnation is the fact that God himself became flesh and lived with us. Why would he do this? And why is it so important to us?

CHRISTMAS TEXT: Preparation

December 9, 2012Randy Christian

The birth of Jesus is the most documented birth in history. But history’s connection with Jesus’ birth began long before the birth itself. God intervened in history to insure that this birth happened-and happened as predicted. This week we explore the preparation of history for Jesus’ birth.

CHRISTMAS TEXT: Genealogy

December 2, 2012Randy Christian

Who begat who-or is it whom? One of the more mind-numbing sections of scripture are the genealogies-the documentation of family lineages. Why did the Holy Spirit preserve such passages as these in scripture? And what does this passage have to do with Jesus? Join us as we explore Jesus’ family tree and learn why it is important to us.

DECORATE CHRISTMAS: With Trees

December 11, 2011Randy Christian

The Christmas tree graces almost every home, office and public area by the time Christmas comes around. It is one of the most common of the Christmas decorations. It’s connection to Christmas is …well, what is it’s connection to Christmas? Join us as we look at the honored Christmas tree and answer that question!

DECORATE CHRISTMAS: With Lights

December 4, 2011Randy Christian

Every year the coming of Christmas is accompanied by so many people climbing up ladders and hanging lights on their houses. Some hang a few strands, others blanket their houses with them. But what do these lights have to do with Christmas? Christmas lights are more than a tradition—they remind us of key elements of the Christmas story. Or do they? Join us as we explore how Christmas decorations add or detract to our focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

Due to technical difficulties we won’t be able to post the audio for this sermon.