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What's so special about christmas

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Christian, Coptic, Christmas,
You Are Important To God
Your Life Matters To God
Your Faith Matters To God

The Relevance of Christmas
The Reality of Christmas
The Reason for Christmas
The Result of Christmas

Published in: Spiritual
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What's so special about christmas

  1. 1. What’s So SpecialWhat’s So Special About ChristmasAbout Christmas Luke 2Luke 2 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all theyou good news that will cause great joy for all the people.people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 1414 ““Glory to God in the highest heaven,Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” January 2016January 2016 Ehab RoufailEhab Roufail
  2. 2. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 2 OutlineOutline • You Are Important To GodYou Are Important To God • Your Life Matters To GodYour Life Matters To God • Your Faith Matters To GodYour Faith Matters To God • The Relevance of ChristmasThe Relevance of Christmas • The Reality of ChristmasThe Reality of Christmas • The Reason for ChristmasThe Reason for Christmas • The Result of ChristmasThe Result of Christmas
  3. 3. What has Christmas really meant for us this year?What has Christmas really meant for us this year? • Time off study and workTime off study and work • Time with Family and loved onesTime with Family and loved ones • Buying gifts for themBuying gifts for them • …….... • Stats show that there is a steep rise in divorceStats show that there is a steep rise in divorce over Christmas – January often sees twice asover Christmas – January often sees twice as many couples begin divorce proceedings asmany couples begin divorce proceedings as any other time of the year.any other time of the year. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 3
  4. 4. You Are Important To GodYou Are Important To God • When God makes His announcement, it isWhen God makes His announcement, it is delivered to shepherds. It is like Jesus saying indelivered to shepherds. It is like Jesus saying in the Sermon on the mount, "If God cares aboutthe Sermon on the mount, "If God cares about sparrows & lilies, then He cares about you." Ifsparrows & lilies, then He cares about you." If God cares about shepherds, He cares aboutGod cares about shepherds, He cares about you!you! • We all need to hear that. All of us have knownWe all need to hear that. All of us have known feelings of rejection. All of us have knownfeelings of rejection. All of us have known feelings of being left out. Christmas comes. Thefeelings of being left out. Christmas comes. The light shines, & God says, "light shines, & God says, "No! You’re wrong. INo! You’re wrong. I made the announcement to shepherds, & Imade the announcement to shepherds, & I make it to you. Unto you a Savior is born."make it to you. Unto you a Savior is born."Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 4
  5. 5. Your Life Matters to GodYour Life Matters to God • Those shepherds must have sat around theThose shepherds must have sat around the campfire many times & wondered if life wascampfire many times & wondered if life was really worthwhile or not. "What difference doesreally worthwhile or not. "What difference does it make if we watch the sheep or not?“it make if we watch the sheep or not?“ • Maybe we wonder as well, "What differenceMaybe we wonder as well, "What difference does it make if I get up every morning or not? Itdoes it make if I get up every morning or not? It seems as if my life is an endless cycle of thingsseems as if my life is an endless cycle of things that really don’t mean anything. I just wonder ifthat really don’t mean anything. I just wonder if life is worth living at all?"life is worth living at all?" • You see, every life matters. We are alwaysYou see, every life matters. We are always influencing someone, either for good or for bad.influencing someone, either for good or for bad. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 5
  6. 6. Your Life Matters to GodYour Life Matters to God • Oscar Schindler:Oscar Schindler: In those years, millions of Jews died in theIn those years, millions of Jews died in the Nazi death camps like Auschwitz, but Schindler's JewsNazi death camps like Auschwitz, but Schindler's Jews miraculously survived.miraculously survived. To more than 1200 Jews Oscar Schindler was all that stoodTo more than 1200 Jews Oscar Schindler was all that stood between them and death at the hands of the Nazis. A man fullbetween them and death at the hands of the Nazis. A man full of flaws like the rest of us - the unlikeliest of all role models whoof flaws like the rest of us - the unlikeliest of all role models who started by earning millions as a war profiteer and ended bystarted by earning millions as a war profiteer and ended by spending his last pfennig and risking his life to save his Jews.spending his last pfennig and risking his life to save his Jews. An ordinary man who even in the worst of circumstances didAn ordinary man who even in the worst of circumstances did extraordinary things, matched by no one. He remained true toextraordinary things, matched by no one. He remained true to his Jews, the workers he referred to ashis Jews, the workers he referred to as my childrenmy children. In the. In the shadow of Auschwitz he kept the SS out and everyone alive.shadow of Auschwitz he kept the SS out and everyone alive. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. — Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9. Video link Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 6
  7. 7. Your Faith Matters To GodYour Faith Matters To God • Shepherds were men of faith. They probablyShepherds were men of faith. They probably had more faith than some of the scribes &had more faith than some of the scribes & Pharisees who went to the synagogue everyPharisees who went to the synagogue every day.day. • They believed in a Messiah. All of God’sThey believed in a Messiah. All of God’s chosen people believed in a Messiah. Whenchosen people believed in a Messiah. When things got especially hard, during times ofthings got especially hard, during times of poverty & enslavement & exile, they wouldpoverty & enslavement & exile, they would think about the Messiah & God’s promise thatthink about the Messiah & God’s promise that one day the Messiah would come.one day the Messiah would come. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 7
  8. 8. Your Faith Matters To GodYour Faith Matters To God • They prayed over & over again, "Let the Messiah come.They prayed over & over again, "Let the Messiah come. Let Him come today!" They prayed that prayer forLet Him come today!" They prayed that prayer for hundreds of years, & they must have wondered, "Is ourhundreds of years, & they must have wondered, "Is our faith worth anything? Does God hear our prayers? Doesfaith worth anything? Does God hear our prayers? Does God keep His promises? Will the Messiah ever come?“God keep His promises? Will the Messiah ever come?“ • There must have been many who quit praying, & quitThere must have been many who quit praying, & quit having faith. But when the announcement came tohaving faith. But when the announcement came to shepherds, God was saying, "Your faith matters, & it is notshepherds, God was saying, "Your faith matters, & it is not in vain. I am a God who hears & who keeps His promises.in vain. I am a God who hears & who keeps His promises. Now the Messiah has come, & I have kept My promise.“Now the Messiah has come, & I have kept My promise.“ • How about us? Sometimes we become weary. There mayHow about us? Sometimes we become weary. There may be times when we wonder if it is worthwhile going tobe times when we wonder if it is worthwhile going to church. There are times when we wonder if it is worthchurch. There are times when we wonder if it is worth sacrificing for God.sacrificing for God. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 8
  9. 9. Your Faith Matters To GodYour Faith Matters To God • The shepherds keeping watch over theseThe shepherds keeping watch over these sheep knew the purpose for the lambs undersheep knew the purpose for the lambs under their care. And their job was to keep thetheir care. And their job was to keep the animals under them from becoming injured oranimals under them from becoming injured or blemished. It was to those watching overblemished. It was to those watching over animals destined for temple sacrifice that theanimals destined for temple sacrifice that the angels announced Jesus’ birth. “For today inangels announced Jesus’ birth. “For today in the city of David there has been born for you athe city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who isSavior, who is ChristChrist the Lordthe Lord” (Luke 2:11).” (Luke 2:11). • Link to song “If you think you’re not important”Link to song “If you think you’re not important” Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 9
  10. 10. The Relevance of Christmas:The Relevance of Christmas: God Came toGod Came to EarthEarth • Lord Jesus “always had the nature of God …” (PhilippiansLord Jesus “always had the nature of God …” (Philippians 2:6) Jesus was God, and he came to live among us for a2:6) Jesus was God, and he came to live among us for a while (John 1). That is the relevance of Christmas.while (John 1). That is the relevance of Christmas. • Lord Jesus didn’t start in the stable. He existed evenLord Jesus didn’t start in the stable. He existed even before Creation. The pre-eminence of Christ is explainedbefore Creation. The pre-eminence of Christ is explained in Colossians, where we are told he is the exact Image orin Colossians, where we are told he is the exact Image or Icon of the unseen God, he existed before anything else,Icon of the unseen God, he existed before anything else, and, in truth, he is the Creator who made everything inand, in truth, he is the Creator who made everything in Heaven and on Earth (Colossians 1:15-16).Heaven and on Earth (Colossians 1:15-16). • Lord Jesus is God in the flesh. The Bible says if you’veLord Jesus is God in the flesh. The Bible says if you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen God (John 1). If Lord Jesus reallyseen Jesus, you’ve seen God (John 1). If Lord Jesus really is God and God came to Earth, then Christmas is the mostis God and God came to Earth, then Christmas is the most relevant event of history.relevant event of history. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 10
  11. 11. The Reality of Christmas:The Reality of Christmas: God BecameGod Became ManMan • The reality of Christmas was that Jesus ChristThe reality of Christmas was that Jesus Christ was a real man, flesh and blood, bones andwas a real man, flesh and blood, bones and hair. He was a real person — not a myth, not ahair. He was a real person — not a myth, not a fable, not a nice story.fable, not a nice story. • The Bible says Jesus “of his own free will heThe Bible says Jesus “of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of agave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being andservant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7).appeared in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7). • Why would Jesus come as a human being?Why would Jesus come as a human being? • Story of AntsStory of Ants Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 11
  12. 12. The Reality of Christmas:The Reality of Christmas: God BecameGod Became ManMan • He was born like usHe was born like us.. • He grew like usHe grew like us.. • He was tempted like usHe was tempted like us. The Bible says Jesus. The Bible says Jesus was tempted, just like us, yet he was withoutwas tempted, just like us, yet he was without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16).sin (Hebrews 4:14-16). • He suffered like usHe suffered like us. Jesus felt pain and. Jesus felt pain and disappointment. He became tired, He grieved,disappointment. He became tired, He grieved, he cried, he was human. In Gethsemane Jesushe cried, he was human. In Gethsemane Jesus said, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that itsaid, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me” (Matthew 26:38).almost crushes me” (Matthew 26:38). Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 12
  13. 13. The Reason for Christmas:The Reason for Christmas: Jesus cameJesus came to dieto die • Jesus didn’t stay in the manger. He went to aJesus didn’t stay in the manger. He went to a cross and voluntarily laid down his life for us.cross and voluntarily laid down his life for us. Philippians 2:8 (NIV)Philippians 2:8 (NIV) • 88 And being found in appearance as a man,And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himselfhe humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!even death on a cross! • Nobody put him there without his permission.Nobody put him there without his permission. Why did he allow himself to go to the cross?Why did he allow himself to go to the cross? Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 13
  14. 14. The Reason for Christmas:The Reason for Christmas: Jesus cameJesus came to dieto die • To demonstrate God’s love:To demonstrate God’s love: The Bible says,The Bible says, Romans (NKJV)Romans (NKJV) • 8 8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that  while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  • His motivation was love.His motivation was love. John 15:13 (NKJV)John 15:13 (NKJV) • 13 13  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down  one’s life for his friends.one’s life for his friends. • Redeeming man through dying on our behalfRedeeming man through dying on our behalf • Restoring the Image and Knowledge through ourRestoring the Image and Knowledge through our senses of God in mansenses of God in man • Revitalising man and uniting His Nature with oursRevitalising man and uniting His Nature with ours Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 14
  15. 15. The Angels’ JoyThe Angels’ Joy • Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, forThen the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which willbehold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in thebe to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Lukecity of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)2:10-11) • They knew why there was cause for great rejoicing.They knew why there was cause for great rejoicing. The promised Messiah, the Saviour and Redeemer ofThe promised Messiah, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind, had finally been born. The unbounded joy ofmankind, had finally been born. The unbounded joy of the heavens was seen by the shepherds. Suddenlythe heavens was seen by the shepherds. Suddenly with the angel who had spoken to them there was awith the angel who had spoken to them there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising God andmultitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earthsaying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14)peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14) Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 15
  16. 16. The Angels’ JoyThe Angels’ Joy • What was the source of the angels' joy? What did theWhat was the source of the angels' joy? What did the birth of the Lord on earth mean to them?birth of the Lord on earth mean to them? • The angels had known that the Lord would be born onThe angels had known that the Lord would be born on earth ever since the first hint of evil had appeared inearth ever since the first hint of evil had appeared in mankind.mankind. • With horror they recognized that eventually the humanWith horror they recognized that eventually the human race would turn so far away from the Lord that it wouldrace would turn so far away from the Lord that it would no longer know anything true nor be able to dono longer know anything true nor be able to do anything good.anything good. • A complete separation took place, no human beingA complete separation took place, no human being would ever choose a heavenly life and would bewould ever choose a heavenly life and would be condemned to the anger, discontent andcondemned to the anger, discontent and destructiveness of an evil life.destructiveness of an evil life. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 16
  17. 17. The Angels’ JoyThe Angels’ Joy • Yet at the time of the first hint of evil, the LordYet at the time of the first hint of evil, the Lord immediately foretold in prophecy that He would beimmediately foretold in prophecy that He would be born as a Savior to ensure that all people wouldborn as a Savior to ensure that all people would always have a real choice between a heavenly life andalways have a real choice between a heavenly life and a hellish one.a hellish one. • The Lord showed the infinite wisdom and the infiniteThe Lord showed the infinite wisdom and the infinite love that had been hidden by the darkness of evil andlove that had been hidden by the darkness of evil and the obscurity of limited human thought.the obscurity of limited human thought. • The Lord became the Word made flesh so that weThe Lord became the Word made flesh so that we might behold His glory, so that we might have the lightmight behold His glory, so that we might have the light that will give us life.that will give us life. • He took of what was ours so that we may take of whatHe took of what was ours so that we may take of what is His.is His. Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 17
  18. 18. The Angels’ JoyThe Angels’ Joy • Because He humbled himself – the angels glorified allBecause He humbled himself – the angels glorified all the more.the more. • Because He left the heights of Heaven - the angelsBecause He left the heights of Heaven - the angels adorned the lowliest pastureadorned the lowliest pasture • Because He chose to come silently – the angels couldBecause He chose to come silently – the angels could not help but proclaim the greatness of these events.not help but proclaim the greatness of these events. • Jan 2016 Nativity Feast 18

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