Introduction: Well, the Christmas season is here!

When fall has given way to winter and snow covers the ground while lights twinkle from house to house, you know Christmas is coming. Decorated Christmas trees are everywhere you look. Presents a crowd for space under the tree and families come together for a turkey feast. Christmas is one of the most important Christian and cultural holidays of the year, but what is the true meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts? Is it the annual economic boost?

The Christmas season, especially in the West, is a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular traditions. What’s interesting is the etymology of the word Christmas. It means Christian Mass. It’s a shortened form of Christ’s Mass.

Christmas is a time of spiritual reflection on the important foundations of the Christian faith. It’s also a celebration. It’s when Christians celebrate God’s love for the world through the birth of the Christ child: Jesus. The Bible tells of his birth hundreds of years before, fulfilling prophecies.

Christmas can be and has become about so many things: Family, food, traditions, gift-giving, etc…

Application: Some prefer not to emphasize anything other than the spiritual/religious part of it and that’s ok (I guess).

MH – ‘I on the other hand, don’t have or see certain ‘secular’ traditions as counter-faith demonstrations.’

‘I do enjoy the season: The colors, the music, the decorations, the foods, traditions, etc’.

Question: How many of you have already set up your Christmas tree?

The Christmas Tree can remind us about another Tree and gathering around it…the Life of Jesus, his wonderful life, and then his ultimate death on a tree (a cross made of wood).

Song / Question– It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Part of that is putting up the Christmas tree, right?

I want to speak to you about Christmas time, The anticipation, preparation, and celebration of this season.

Transition: When we think about Jesus coming and being born it was the anticipation of years, decades, and centuries of people anticipating a messiah.

Application: Some people start anticipating Christmas the day after Christmas.

Story: I remember hosting a wedding here at CLC in the middle of July but the platform was Christmas-decorated because the bride loves Christmas so much.

Note: I’m not sure I’ve ever shared this with you, but my personal goal when preaching/speaking is twofold:

  • To Educate / Inform
  • To Encourage

So, here is the educate/inform part:

  • One of the major tenets of Judaism is the belief that a redeeming figure known as the Messiah – Meshiach – will appear at the end of history, bringing about a profound and positive change in the world.

  • the elements of the coming of the mashiach: the anointed one, an ingathering of the exiles; restoration of the religious courts of justice; an end of wickedness, sin, and heresy; reward to the righteous; rebuilding of Jerusalem; restoration of the line of King David; and restoration of Temple service.

It is said that some devote Jews pray or recite as much as 3 times the Amidah (a-me-dah) or Shemoneh Esreh. Observant Jews recite the benediction,

‘Blessed are You, Lord our God… who, in love, brings a redeemer to their (the Patriarchs’) children’s children, for the sake of His Name’.

Transaction: So, what we see/understand is that there had been a great ‘anticipation’ of one who would come.

To the ‘Encouragement’ side….

Question: What have you been anticipating?

Are there promises you have been hoping and anticipating from God?

Jesus was born, and then crucified on a tree to make all things promised, fulfilled!

  1. Condition / Position of Anticipation / Expectation:

Read Isaiah 35 

Testimony of Hope – Tessa Morrell – April 2021 wrote, ‘A few years ago I opened my Bible to turn to a verse in Isaiah that frequently encourages me.

‘It was during a season of my life when it felt like one discouragement or struggle emerged after another. I was tired, and I needed to be reminded of the hope that is ours in Jesus. As I turned the pages, something caught my attention in Isaiah 35, and I paused to read it. It’s a chapter about the restoration of God’s people. The people of Israel were exiled to a land that was not their own, and Isaiah offered a glimmer of hope in the dark reality of their circumstances.

  • The main thing that stood out to me was the use of the word “will” over and over again in these ten verses. I highlighted each one in my Bible.

  • ‘It appears six times just in the first three verses, then it appears many more times throughout the chapter. Here’s an example:
  • “The wilderness and the dry land will be glad; the desert will rejoice and blossom like a wildflower. It will blossom abundantly and will also rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.” – Isaiah 35:1-3, emphasis mine

  • As I read, I sensed God reminding me who He is. He is the God of redemption and restoration. He is able to take the dry land and make it flourish with new growth. He is able to take what seems abandoned and broken beyond repair and bring new life.

Not only did Isaiah hope, anticipate, and expect Meshiach, but also did, all of the prophets to whom God had given a Word of prophecy.

Micah 5:2

Isaiah 7:14

Isaiah 9:6–7

  • Not only is He able. He WILL do it.

Question: Do what?

  • All that He has promised!
  • All that’s in His Will!
  • All that can be imagined!
  • All that can be asked for!

1 Kings 18:41-44

1 Kings 18 – Elijah knew that it was going to rain after a three-year drought. All Elisah saw was a ‘Cloud the size of a man’s hand.’

‘If only I may touch his clothes…’ – Matt. 9:21

Conclusion: Faith in God involves anticipation / Expectation!Question? What are we expecting from the Lord? Do you have


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