Christmas Makes Everything New - 2014 Christmas Musical

December 15, 2014

Christmas Makes Everything New is a festive Christmas musical celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through powerful Christmas praise and worship songs.


Introduction

Amen and good morning.  Isn’t the music of Christmas wonderful?  And we’re going to enjoying a lot of it this morning.  It should be a great time.

I’m Trey Garner.  I’m one of the pastors here at Faith.  And on behalf of our church family, I’d like to express how thankful we are that you’ve chosen to worship with us today.  That’s true for those of you who call Faith your church home, but it’s especially true for those who may be worshipping with us for the very first time today.  We’re so glad you’re here.

Our hope is that you’ll find us to be a welcoming church where it’s easy to get connected.  We’ve actually designed a tool to help you begin getting connected. If you look at the back of the program that you should have received when you walked in this morning, you’ll find what we call our connection card.  If you’ve never done so before, would you do us the favor filling that out.  Share whatever information you feel comfortable sharing at this point in our relationship with us. And then I’ll give you instructions on what to do with that card a little later on in our service.

You’re joining us for our annual Christmas musical.  The title of our musical is “Christmas Makes Everything New.”

We like things that are new, don’t we?  If we’re honest— and we ought to be honest because this is church, right—If we’re honest, then we ought to admit that we like getting gifts.

That’s one of the things that we enjoy about Christmas.  Getting up on Christmas morning… Tearing into the Presents… And seeing that new toy… That new coffee maker… That new phone… That new pair of socks…We like things that are new!

I remember back in 1986, I was in the 6th Grade.  And I realize that for some of you, what I just said makes me a “young whippersnapper.”  For others of you, I’ve got one foot in the grave. 

But Christmas of that year was one of my most memorable Christmases because of some of the presents I received.  That year, my parents got me a boombox and two music cassette tapes.  For the younger crowd, that was a portable stereo and MP3s you could hold. 

And this was a big deal for me because this was the kind of gift that you got for an adult.  Up until now, if I wanted to play any music, I had to haul out my Mickey Mouse record player—which was okay to use if you were a baby.  But come on, I was 11.

And the music they got me wasn’t the campy stuff that kids listened to.  No, this was real music. 

They got me the soundtrack from Back to the Future… you know Huey Lewis and the News… “The Power of Love”

And they got me one of Whitney Houston’s albums…”I believe the children are our future.  Teach them well and let them lead the way…” 

And I know some of you don’t think it’s very manly to like Whitney Houston…listen to me…I don’t care. 

But those gifts we’re very special to me…not just because they were new…although I really liked that…They were special to me because they marked a transition into a whole new phase of life.

Those gifts made me feel like the world was opening up to me…  That Christmas made everything new for me…

And as special as that Christmas was for me, I’ve since learned what the Bible teaches about Christmas…and I want to suggest to you God wants to use Christmas to make everything new for us in a much more profound way than any presents ever could. 

But how would that happen?  And what would that look like?  And why would that even be an issue?

Those are questions I’d like to ask you to think about as you enjoy this morning’s musical.  Following the presentation, I’ll come back to talk more about that. 

Now, a word about the presentation itself… There are several songs featured in the musical, and there will be brief pauses between some of the songs where you’ll likely feel the urge to applaud.  We’d like to ask you to hold your applause till the end of the presentation when we’ll have the opportunity to show our appreciation for the presentation.

With that said, we hope we hope this will be an uplifting time for you as our choir and orchestra share with us the joyous message of God’s love for us.  Please enjoy “Christmas Makes Everything New.”
 

(Choir and Orchestra present musical)

 

Closing Remarks & Message

Amen.  Let’s thank the choir and orchestra for the presentation this morning.

Christmas makes everything new.

Before the presentation, I asked you to think about a few questions…

  • How does Christmas make everything new? 
  • What would that look like?
  • And why would that even be necessary?

Let me begin with that last question.

The Bible actually paints two contrasting pictures of each of us. For each person, there’s the old self… Which the book of Ephesians tells us to do away with…It says…

Ephesians 4:22 - lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit

Boy, that’s not a pretty picture.  But the book of Colossians isn’t even that kind about it.  Listen to some of the words that Colossians 3 uses to describe the old self…

Descriptors from Colossians 3:5-9 - Immoral, impure, greedy, idolatrous, disobedient, angry, wrathful, malicious, slanderous, abusive, and evil

Now, Scripture isn’t saying that every person exhibits every one of those characteristics in their most obvious and salacious form.

But to some extent, those characteristics reflect the bent of every human heart…they’re part of the old self that we’re supposed to put off.

And the reason those characteristics are there is because of our sin.

The term “sin” actually comes from the world of archery.  When an archer failed to hit the center of his target, he was said to have “missed the mark”… To have sinned…

In the spiritual sense, to sin is to miss the mark of the perfection of God… to miss the mark of his holiness… And we’ve all done that.  None of us match up to His perfect standard. 

In fact, the book of Romans tells us that…

Romans 3:23 - all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

And you say, “That’s bad.” Oh yes, that’s bad. But that’s not even the worst of it. Because our sin has serious consequences.  Isaiah 59:2 says that…

Isaiah 59:2 - your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,

And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

Our sin separates us from God.  It prevents us from having a relationship with him. 

And unless something is done about it, our sin will close the doors of heaven to us.

And you say, “This keeps getting worse and worse.”  Yes, it does.  But we haven’t even gotten to the worst part.  The worst part is that on our own we can’t do anything about our sin.

Isaiah 64:6 - All of our righteous deeds are like filthy rags.

Have you ever tried to get something clean with a filthy rag?  How does that usually work?

We can’t get rid of even one of our sins because even the good things that we might try to do are tainted.

And you say, “Pastor Trey, this is Christmas.  I thought this was supposed to be a celebration.  Where’s the good news?  Where’s the fa la las?  Where’s the ho, ho, hos?”

Folks, there is good news.  In fact, there’s wonderful news. 

Remember…Christmas makes everything new.  Christmas makes it possible for us to put off that old self…to have a fresh start.

But how does it do that?  If the nature of our sins is so pervasive and the consequences so devastating…how could Christmas change that?

Well, it because of what took place at the very first Christmas. 

Because on that Christmas, God provided an answer to our sin. 

Two thousand years ago in a Bethlehem stable, He gave us His son.  (Manger image)

The Creator of the universe stepped away from the glories of Heaven in order that He might take His place among…that He might be born to a virgin named Mary. 

But that’s not part of Christmas that makes everything new. 

If you’ve been with us for the last two weeks, then you know that there’s a sense in which every Christmas message is also an Easter message.

To see how Christmas could be the answer for our sin, we have to look beyond the manger—33 years beyond the manger—all the way to the cross.  (Cross image)

It was there at the cross that the Lord Jesus Christ took on Himself the sins of all mankind—your sins, my sins…the sins of everyone who has ever lived. 

He suffered for our sake, and He died.

At the manger, God gave Jesus to us.  At the cross, God gave Jesus for us.

But you know what?  That’s not that’s not the end of the story …

 

Jesus didn’t come simply to die for our sins.  He came to conquer our sins.

On the third following His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead.  (Resurrection image)

He conquered our sin for all time. 

And that’s the hope of Christmas… That for every person who chooses to place their faith in the death, burial, resurrection of Christ as their only hope of heaven, everything is made new.

But that’s a really general concept.  Let’s get specific about this.  What is this newness all about?

Well, for one…

I. God gives us new life.

In one of the songs our choir sang, you heard this refrain repeated:  “Because of who you are, you make all things new.  I’m not who I was.  You make all things new.” 

The reason a person could sing that is because of what we read in the book of 2 Corinthians which says…

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

And in describing what this new life is like, the Apostle Peter praised God, saying…

1 Peter 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

This living hope is the kind of hope that isn’t dependent upon circumstances going my way…It doesn’t require me to earn my way to heaven through my good works.  That’s not really hope. 

No, this living hope is founded squarely on faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

That’s an altogether new way of living.

Romans 6:4 – as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life

And what are some of the characteristics of this new life? 

Well, Scripture tells us that…

II. God gives us a new purpose.

You remember what we said about the old self?  How it was being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit?

Well, now, those things don’t have to be true of us. We now have God himself working on our side to help us…

Ephesians 4:24 – put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

With the help of God, we can have victory over our former sinful habits.  We become more like him.

And Scripture tells us more about this new purpose. In John chapter 13, Jesus said…

John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Because God gives us new life, we can love others with a kind of selflessness that simply isn’t possible apart from God.

What was it that motivated our choir and orchestra to rehearse for months in order to prepare this morning’s musical?

What was it that motivated dozens of people to serve in our community center yesterday, helping needy families provide gifts for their children through Christmas for Everyone?

What was it that motivated hundreds of people to stand out in the cold last night wearing bed sheets for our Living Nativity?

It’s because God has given them a new purpose.  Because of their love for Him, they’re motivated to serve others so that others might also come to enjoy the new life that God offers through Christ.

And it gets better.  Not only does God give us new life and a new purpose...

III. God gives us a new home.

2 Peter 3:13 – …according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

To all who choose to embrace Christ as Savior and Lord, God makes the marvelous promise of eternity spent in His kingdom.

And in talking about this kingdom in the book of Revelation, the Lord says…

Revelation 21:5 - “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Notice the language there.  That process of “making all things new” is ongoing. 

Now, think about that. If the Lord could speak the entire universe into existence in a moment, just imagine how glorious heaven will be like if he has spent the last 2000 years preparing it.

Simply incredible.

And those are just a few of the things God is making new.

But could I make this personal for a moment?  Let me ask you…

Is God making all things new for you?  Has there been a definite point in your life when you’ve acknowledged your sin, and asked Jesus to be your Savior. 

The Bible is really clear about the fact that no one is born into God’s family.

And you say, “But my grandma said that we’re all God’s children.”

Look, I’m sure your grandma’s a wonderful lady.  I’m sure she made great Christmas cookies, and probably smelled like Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds perfume…which, have you noticed, is always advertised at Christmas…

I’m sure your grandma’s terrific, but if she told you that we’re all God’s children, grandma was wrong.

Scripture tells us that we are all born dead in our trespasses and sins…and that a person’s choice to follow Christ as Lord is a decision that happens at a specific point in time.