Merry Christmas 2013

Posted on 12/22/2013 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


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GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
Our Jesus Christ is born.

When I was a seeker
I sought both night and day,
I asked the Lord to help me,
And he showed me the way.

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
Our Jesus Christ is born.

He made me a watchman
Upon a city wall,
And if I am a Christian,
I am the least of all.

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
Our Jesus Christ is born.


JOY TO THE WORLD

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.


ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Refrain

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Refrain

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Refrain

See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.

Refrain


O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.


AWAY IN A MANGER

Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes

I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side,
'Til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray

Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Today, Mariposa is going to share something with us about Christmas, and then we'll play a few Christmas carols, and I hope you'll stick around and sing along.

But first, let's take just a moment to ponder the true spirit of this holiday season, which is giving, expecting nothing in return.

Growing up, too many of us are lied to, and we believe there is a Santa Claus, and that all our Christmas presents come from him. If we're good, or so we're told, Santa practically owes us something. Since we think our gifts don't come from parents who love us and have to work and save and sacrifice to give us presents, and we instead think they come magically from someone who doesn't pay any price and has an unlimited supply, we learn how to focus on what we want, and we also learn how to not be thankful.

I hope none of you deceive your children like that, and if you have been, I hope you'll consider telling them the truth. I have NEVER regretted knowing the truth when I was a child, and I was also thankful and felt incredibly loved, no matter how little or how much I received. And that is one of the best gifts you can give your children this Christmas.


So it's all about giving, expecting nothing in return. That's what God did. Romans 5:8 says this: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

He didn't hold back while we were naughty, and then pour out His life for us only after we were nice. Instead, He gave us the best He had, while we were still rebelling against Him, knowing that we could never repay.

Let's give of ourselves this Christmas season -- of our time, of our posessions, of our attention, of our unconditional love. Be Jesus to someone who needs God's love. Give someone a hot meal, or some of your time, or some of your effort, someone who may or may not even know you, or who might not even ever know it came from you.

And at the center of it all, be at peace. Let the silence of a heart and a mind at rest radiate that peace to those around you. And you will make a difference in others' lives.


Now I'd like Mariposa to share the Christmas message that's on her heart, and after that, we'll play some Christmas carols. Mariposa?


Father God, thank You for the chance to meet together to fellowship and worship You. Thank You for giving me this sermon to share. I ask that You would send Holy Spirit to minister in His special way. I ask that my words would glory Your Name, oh Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

When we think of Christmas, most of us see Baby Jesus in a manger, Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, the Shepherds, angels, Bethlehem, the star.

Have you ever thought about why there is a Christmas? Why Jesus was born?

The answer is in John 3:16, which says "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

There is a Christmas because god sacrificed His One and Only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. I am sure there are people who would rather forget the cross, our sins, the beatings, the blood during Christmas.

But I implore you to not forget. You see, if there was no Christmas there would be no cross and no Resurrection Day.

Let me just state right here that I know God would have found another way, but just go along with this, okay?

For my purpose, let's go to the very beginning of the story. An angel visits a young woman named Mary. What if Mary would have said “No” to what the angel said? What if Joseph didn't believe the angel from his dream and had Mary stoned? What if everything we know of the Christmas story never happened?

Since Genesis, God knew He would have to make a way for His children to be redeemed and reconciled to Himself.

And He used the most unusual of people and places. Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth, a little town. Joseph was a carpenter. Mary was a young woman who never knew a man, but now found herself with child.

Mary was willing to believe the angel even though her very life could be forfeit. How amazing that she believed.

How astonishing that Joseph believed after the dream.

And so being betrothed, they traveled to Bethlehem because of the edict of the king.

Mary gave birth to Jesus in a cave and placed Him in a manger. Shepherds and Wise Men came to see and worship Him who would be the Savior of the world.

If there was no Christmas, there would be no Resurrection Day, no cross. No Jesus' sacrifice for the world.

There is but on reason that Christmas is celebrated, and that reason doesn't come on a Silent Night.

It comes with whips cracking on the back, cross carrying, blood flowing, nails piercing flesh and bone. The reason is the cross. Jesus hanging bloody and naked before his mother. And dying in your place and mine.

But that is not the end. An earthquake, blinding light, and Jesus walked from the grave. Hallelujah!

So you see, it is very important to remember the True meaning of Christmas. To remember the Baby Jesus grew and became a man, the Messiah and Redeemer of the world. He conquered death to give us hope.

If there was no Christmas, there would be no Resurrection Day, no cross. If there was no cross or Resurrection Day, we wouldn't need Christmas.

Thankfully, God saw our need and He paved the way. He prepared Mary and Joseph to be parents to Jesus and for Jesus to carry our sins and overcome death. He also prepared us to receive the gift of Jesus.

There is a reason for Christmas and Resurrection Day and every time you look in the mirror you are looking at the reason. God did it all because of you. He loves you so much.

John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Romans 5:8 says "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

So you see, God does truly love you. He does want to know you more than He does now. He wants you to know Him, too.

I want you all to come to the front, to the altar. I am going to lead you in a prayer to ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life. I want you all to pray it outloud if you can or at least in your heart.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice that saved me from eternal separation from You. I need you. I ask You to forgive my sins. Wash me white as snow. I ask You into my heart. I want You to be the Lord of my life. Come and dwell inside of me. Holy Spirit fill me to overflowing. Guide my steps, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Father God, I pray for those who prayed this prayer for the first time. I ask that You would guide and direction them. Bring true followers of You into their path so they can fellowship with other believers. I ask that You would go with us all as we go about our week. We love you Jesus. We pray these things in Jesus' name, Amen.

You all are free to leave when you need to or stay here at the altar in prayer and worship. Please remember that Holy Spirit is ministering here and to please use only Instant Message if you must talk to someone. Thank you. May God bless you and Merry Christmas!


HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"


O COME O COME EMMANUEL

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


WHAT CHILD IS THIS

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

[CHORUS]
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

[CHORUS]

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

[CHORUS]

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

[CHORUS]

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.


SILENT NIGHT
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth


WHAT CHILD IS THIS

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

Chorus:
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies he in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleasing.

Chorus

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant king to own Him,
The King of kings, salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!


GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy