Christmas Eve 2022
Hope Has a Name
I promised you guys that I wasn’t going to take up too much of your time tonight, but God has really placed in on my heart to share a message with you.
We are going to begin the message by reading Isaiah 9:1-7.
Hear the Word of the Lord
Hope for the Hopeless
The Israelites were in a state of hopelessness.
They were in captivity.
They were being oppressed, depressed, and hard pressed by those who conquered them.
But God doesn’t want them to feel hopeless.
So he sends a prophet to tell them that hope has a name.
That there is hope for the hopeless.
If we are honest about it, this time of year can bring about a ton of different emotions.
We see on the television and hear on the radio that this is a time to celebrate family and friends.
This is a time to be excited about the gifts others are going to give us.
This is a time when all should be right in our lives, but what if it isn’t.
What if this holiday season brings Thoughts and feelings of pain, suffering, or isolation.
What if you feel lonely because you don’t have anyone to share the holiday with.
What if you feel a stab of pain because you lost someone that really matters to you and this is your first Christmas without them.
What if you feel like the world is out to get you and your family?
You feel crippled by debt.
You don’t have 2 nickels to rub together.
Insurance is driving you absolutely crazy b/c they don’t want to cover your expenses.
What if you are struggling with feelings of insignificance.
A meaningless life.
What if you look and all you can see is pain, suffering, and a meaningless existence.
Simply put, What if this doesn’t feel like the season to be jolly?
What if your mad, sad, confused, and frustrated?
Or even at God?
What if you feel hopeless?
Then you can identify with the Israelites.
Hopelessness is born out of uncertainty.
You are uncertain about how you will make ends meet.
You’re uncertain about the test results.
You’re uncertain about how you can get out of this seemingly unending spiral of tragedy.
You are uncertain about what the future holds.
You are lost in the darkness of despair and hopelessness.
To overcome this sense of hopelessness you don't need an answer, you need THE ANSWER.
You won’t find The Answer in books, relationships, social media, friends, more money, etc.
They may temporarily satisfy your hopelessness.
And they may help you through a season of hopelessness, but I guarantee another one will come just around the corner if you don’t have THE ANSWER.
The Answer came when God Put on flesh and came to live among us.
The Story begins when God visits a young woman name Mary.
Hope has a Name
And his name is Jesus
The Gospel of John puts it this way
Jn 1:14 “14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Jn 1:16-17 “16 Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, 17 for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
The Answer, the only answer, is the immeasurable grace, love, and hope of Jesus.
Jesus gives us hope.
He gives us the hope to endure.
He gives us the hope to continue.
He gives us the hope to look at our difficulties straight in the eye and echo with the apostle Paul, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Jesus tells us that he comes to bring us peace
Jn 14:27 “27 “Peace I leave with you.
My peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.”
Jesus won’t necessarily take away the difficulty, but he gives up hope and peace to face the difficulty.
We hear people say God will never give you more than you can handle and that is false.
The truth is he will never give you more than he can handle.
Jesus came to remedy our worst problem: separation from God.
Now if you believe in him you have access to his strength, love, and mercy.
And with the access you also have hope.
This hope began when God made a promise to send the one that would restore our relationship with him.
And through many generations, God continued to keep his promise.
And it all came to a head when this child was born in a manger.
When he left his heavenly home and came to live amongst the people that would reject him.
When he humbly submitted himself to a torturous death for ungrateful people.
And when he rose again to show his conquering over death.
There is only one absolute certainty that we can place our hope in and that is the Amazing Love of Jesus Christ.
He is the reason we celebrate this holiday.
He is the one that can make sense out of the chaos.
He is the one that can satisfy your aching soul.
He is the light that dispels the darkness.
And one day he will come again and complete the work he started.
Praise the Lord!
We look forward to the day When He Comes Again!
And this evening we are going to celebrate the Lord’s coming and anticipate his return.
We are going to do that by participating in the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is a special time of reflection and anticipation.
We look back on what Jesus did.
He emptied himself, came and lived the perfect life, died in our place, and rose again to verify his victory over sin and death.
The Lord’s supper is only for Christians.
Only for those that have been made Sons and Daughters of the King.
This happens through repentance of sin and submission to God.
If you have never repented of your sin and submitted your life to God then we would ask that you refrain from the Lord’s Supper.
But we do hold out to you something greater than these elements.
We want you to embrace the grace of Jesus.
Respond to his prompting.
Respond to his calling.
He is calling out to you will you answer him?