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Christmas クリスマス

We meet today to celebrate Christmas.

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world to reveal God to us and to save us from our sins. To some here this evening, this might be something new. Perhaps you always thought Christmas was about snowmen and decorations and trees and shopping and romance and cakes and songs.

To some of you here this evening, the news that Christmas is about God entering our world on amercy mission, might be an old, very familiar story. And so each year we try to tell it in a slightly different way, with a slightly different perspective to keep it fresh and hopefully bring a new appreciation.

So sometimes we tell it from the perspective of Mary, sometimes from the perspective of Joseph, sometimes from the perspective of the wise men, sometimes from the perspective of the shepherds, sometimes from the perspective of the angels, sometimes even from the perspective of the animals around the manger as we saw the kids do so wonderfully this evening.

This evening, I’d like to tell you the Christmas story from a different perspective from all of these. I’d like to tell you the Christmas story from the perspective of God (and we saw a preview of this in the video clip we just watched).

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He created light and the land and the waters and the plants and the animals. And finally he created the greatest thing of all: us. People. People were the crowning achievement of God’s creation. God created them man and woman – Adam and Eve – and he thought they were wonderful. And he loved them.

But the people God had made did something terrible. They turned away from God, their Creator. They turned away from His love and all that He had provided for them. They decided that they didn’t need God and would live their own way. They sinned.

And in sinning they broke God’s heart. And in sinning they separated themselves from God. God’s perfect love and holiness were now wholly inconsistent with mankind’s sinfulness. And so the two were separated. God’s crowning creation achievement was now estranged from Him.
But God loved the world He had created. So He appeared to Abraham about 4,000 years ago and told him that through him he would raise up a people -a nation – a miracle nation from a couple who were long past the age of bearing children – who would lead people back to God. And from this nation would come prophets and leaders and ultimately a Messiah who would finally and completely restore people back to God.
しかし神はご自分が造った世を愛されました。それで4000年ほど前、アブラハムに現れ、彼を通して人々を神に導き戻す民、国を 立ち上げると言われました。そしてその国から預言者、指導者、そしてついには人々を最終的に完全に神のもとに立ち返らせるメシヤが来ると言われました。

And so God sent Moses through whom He delivered the 10 commandments and all the laws of righteousness so the people would know right from wrong and live good, godly lives.
But the people rejected the law and instead of worshipping God, their Creator and Provider and Great Hope who is unseen, they chose to worship worthless idols which they had made with their own hands yet which they could see. This rejection both angered and saddened God.

But God loved the world He had created. So he sent prophets like Samuel and Elijah and Isaiah and Ezekiel to straighten the people out – to remind them of God’s love and His righteous ways and to warn them that if they didn’t turn back to God they would be held accountable and would reap the consequences of their sin.
But the people wouldn’t listen to the prophets that God had sent. They beat them and sent them away and even killed them. This disregard broke God’s heart again and provoked Him to more anger.

But God loved the world He had created. So he sent kings like David and Solomon to show people God’s power and love and generosity. Kings who would set an example of righteousness and lead God’s people back to God. But the people refused and mistreated the kings, too, and the kings themselves were often wayward and sinful. Instead of getting better, the people God had created were getting worse.

They were becoming more sinful. They turned to worship other gods that they had made with their hands and they mocked the God who had created them. And in their mocking and sin and hatred toward God, they broke His heart again and again and made him angry again and again. There were times when God regretted creating people at all.

But even still, God loved the world He had created. But what could He do to ransom/save/win back His people? They miscreditedthe majesty of creation, they wouldn’t listen to His prophets and they wouldn’t follow His Word. What could He do?

God decided to send His own Son. He thought, they may not have listened to the prophets and they may not have followed my laws, but surely, surely if I send my Son, my one and only Son from heaven to them, they will listen to Him. They will follow Him.

And so in about 6BC in the countryside outside a small town called Bethlehem, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, was born. Being God Himself in the flesh, He lived a perfect life and at the age of 30, he began to minister.

In ministry, He did some amazing things. He healed the sick; He gave sight to the blind, He restored limbs and He cast out demons. He even raised dead people back to life.

What he taught was even more amazing than what He did. He taught that we should love God and each other above all else. He taught that we should forgive each other no matter what. He taught us about God’s great love for this world that He had created. But most of all He taught us some extraordinary things about Himself.

He said that He was the light of life.
He said that if anyone believed in Him and followed Him, they would receive eternal life.
He said that He, and He alone was the way to God.
He said that He was, in fact, God Himself.
He proved this to be true by dying on a cross and then resurrecting from the dead.

Yet this death and resurrection was not only to prove His deity.
It was to demonstrate God’s love for the world – by Jesus, God’s Son, taking on Himself the punishment that we deserved for rejecting God.

Because Jesus has taken our sin,
when we give our lives to Him,
when we make Him the Lord of our lives,
when we accept the gift of Christ’s forgiveness as brought about on the cross,
we receive pardon from sin and we are made right with God. More than this, God lavishes His love upon us – we receive the Holy Spirit of God and actually become the children of God.

This is the Christmas message. Not decorations or cakes or presents or songs. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, come into the world on a mercy mission to show us how much God loves us, to save us from our sins and restore us back to the Father.

You can accept this gift of forgiveness and new life today. The gift is easy to accept and it is free – it is a gift! – yet it comes at a cost!
Jesus said, “Anyone who comes after me must forsake himself, take up his cross daily and follow me”. Yet for those who do this, He made this promise:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not die, but have everlasting life.”

This is the Christmas message.


In a moment, we will be taking communion. Those who have given their lives to Christ and made a decision to forsake all else and follow Him, will be asked to come forward and receive the elements. These elements, the bread and the wine, are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus who died for us. They are reminders of His sacrifice and love.

If you have never taken communion before but would like – tonight – to receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, to repent of your sins and to receive the fullness of God’s love – forgiveness, new life and the gift of the Holy Spirit – I invite you to come forward with the others, commit your life to Christ and receive the elements that mark your joining His body.

The sinner’s prayer is up on the screen. You can pray this and then come forward to enter new life.

Salvation Prayer
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.