We often lament how the pagan world has taken over Christmas. We’re upset that so many want to take the Christ out of Christmas. It’s too commercialized and we forget what it is we are really celebrating. You know the slogan. Jesus is the reason for the season. Intuitively we know that’s true yet often we treat the Friday after Thanksgiving as if someone has fired a starters pistol. We start out running down the Christmas race track knowing that we have only 25 days. Then we see all of the frenzy around us and fearing that we will miss or forget something we begin to run harder and faster. We don’t really know what it is we’re running to or perhaps running from but we keep running. Then our prayers are answered and December 26th comes. We slump down in the easy chair exhale deeply and pray I thank you God this is over. I want to urge all of us today to get off of the Christmas race track. I want to challenge each of us to have a Christ centered Christmas. I want share with you the first step to take to have that Christ Centered Christmas. It takes a plan. God had been preparing for the first Christmas since time began. The prophecy was given. Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel. 4,000 years before it happened God announces His plan for a virgin birth of the Messiah.

A forerunner will come. Is 40:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. God now announces I will send one to proclaim to the world The Messiah is here! The Messiah is here!

The kind of message that would be preached by the voice crying in wilderness was given. Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Timing established. Dan 9:24-26. The prophet says that 493 years after the command to rebuild the temple the Messiah will be crucified. The Pharisee’s of Jesus day had been given a calendar. They knew when the Messiah was to come. From before the creation of the heavens and the earth God had a plan to bring redemption to the earth. The date, time and location of that first Christmas were written on a divine calendar. Every event in history was brought to pass so that the event scheduled for that day over 2,000 years ago would take place. While it is true that we don’t know the exact day of Jesus’ birth God had always known. Christmas day is coming. There is nothing that you can do to stop it. The date and time have been set. What will you do to celebrate the coming of the Messiah this year? Will you have a plan to honor God and to thank Him for this most precious gift? We have to have a plan.

Secondly, we must know what a good Christmas looks like. If we know what a Christ centered Christmas looks like then we can also know that we have had one. Consider for a moment that December 26 day that I mentioned earlier. On that day when you look back over the last 25 days what is it that you will be looking for? What things will have had to occur so that you will look back and say this was a good Christmas? Take the time today to get a vision of a Christ centered Christmas for you and your family. Look at your calendar. As you schedule your parties and family plans pencil in some God time. We simply must make a plan setting aside personal time and family time to celebrate the His coming to earth for us.