Christmas Day 2023

25 Dec 2023

Christmas Day 2023

Passage Matthew 1:19-25

Speaker Ben Tanner


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Good morning is from Matthew, chapter one, verses 19 to 25.

Because Joseph, her husband, was faithful to the law and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She would give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said. Through the prophet, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel, which means, God with us.

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son, and he gave him the name Jesus.

Fantastic. Thank you so much, Liz, for reading that for us. And thank you too for decorating your boot for Christmas. It's very festive as well. We're going to spend some time just looking a little bit at that passage that we've just been thinking about, and I'm just going to lead us in a prayer as we do that.

Father God, in this passage, Jesus finds out. Sorry, not Jesus. Joseph finds out about Jesus. He's told all sorts of amazing things about him. Father, I pray, as we look at this passage now, would we find out about Jesus too?

Would we find him to be the greatest possible Christmas gift? For we ask it in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. I don't know if you noticed, but in that passage there were a few different names that were mentioned and it got me thinking about what different names mean.

And so I've actually got some helpers who are going to help me think about a few different names. If my helpers want to come on out, that would be great. That would be fantastic. Those of you who have asked to come, do come on through. That's brilliant.

Wonderful. If you want to line up along here, that would be great. You guys looking fantastically festive. Wonderful. Love it.

And in fact, I've got one more helper who I've left back here. Just a second. There we go. One more little helper to bring as well. There we go.

Great. We've got some wonderful looking helpers and we've also got some definitions of different names. So if you can have a bit of a look under your seat or near you if there is an envelope, there are probably all sorts of things under your seat after the last few days, but if there's an envelope with a number on it, that would be great. Do grab hold of it. And if you've got the envelope with the number one on it, if you're happy to hold that in the air, the envelope with the number one on it.

It's over here. Fantastic. Brilliant. Happy Christmas. You get to open another present.

You get to open this number one and tell me what it says. So can you open that and let me know what it says?

That's great. And what we're going to find in here is a definition of a name.

This is good. At Christmas, you always have different types of gift on wrappers. You have the rip it open. You have the. I'm going to use the paper later.

And yet we never do. And that's me. This one is well wrapped. Shall I give you a hand there? That's great.

You're just about there. Brilliant. And then if you could take that out and read us what it says on it.

This name means famous wolf. Famous wolf. Now, if you're looking at the characters at the front here, any of those characters you think look like a famous wolf? Well, the brown suited. The brown suited reindeer.

Excellent. That's great. I'll get them to hold that. That's fantastic. Thank you very much.

You can take a seat. We'll put that one, then you can hold on to that. I'm not going to give you the answers yet. Who's got number two? Anyone got number two?

You've got number two. Happy Christmas. Another Christmas gift for you. Do you want to take it out and read us what it says inside?

Sparkling mouse sound. Okay. Which of these characters at the front here do you think my might be? Sparkling mouse sound? Elsa.

Great. I'll take that and I'll give it to Elsa and we'll see. Elsa. Sparkling mouse sound. Fantastic.

Who's got number three? Number three, excellent. Happy Christmas, Bethy.

Promise of God. Promise of God. Okay. Which of these characters at the front do we think might mean promise of God? Baby Jesus.

Okay, let me take that and I'll put it down here next to baby Jesus. Who's got number four? You've got number four. This is a good workout for me, a Christmas workout. What does it say?

God saves. God saves. Who do you think at the front their name might mean? God saves Jesus. Excellent.

Okay, let me pop this one back over here. Okay, so we've got your names. Your names. You're not named. And you're not named either.

Okay, so we need number five then. That's a five. Who's got number five? Excellent, Dave. Sometimes the best Christmas gifts come in an envelope.

That's it. Sometimes the worst Christmas gifts come in an envelope as well. Mighty battle maid. Mighty battle maid. Is that Tom Ferny?

Huff. What do you think? What do you reckon? Which of them got a finger? Might be Elsa?

You think it's Elsa? Okay, let me. Okay, so Elsa, you get two name definitions. That's good. You and Jesus together.

That's great. What number are we on? 12345. Who's on six? Who's got number six?

You guys have got number six. Let me come around to the Henrys over here. Hello. Hello. You've got God with us.

We would have said Jesus. You would have said Jesus? Yes. Okay. Shall I say Jesus?

Okay, we will go with Jesus. Let me just jog back. Excuse me. Thank you very much. Okay.

Right. Here we are. So currently we've got Elsa with two names. I don't need this. I've got this.

We've got Elsa with two names. Mighty battle maid and sparkling mouse sound. We've got famous wolf with Rudolph here. We've got an unnamed character here. And we've got Matilda, who doesn't have a definition for her name, but Jesus has got three.

Okay, I will tell you this. Neither of Elsa's names are right. So I'm going to take these two from you. Does anyone want to have a guess at what Elsa means? We've got a couple of people at the back.

Come on.

Shall I give you the options? Okay. The options are promise of God. God with us or God saves. God saves is not the right answer.

There's two left. Anyone want to have a guess? Go on, Sophie. God with us is not the right answer. There's one left.

Any guesses? Promise of God. Yeah, that's right. Elsa is from Elizabeth, which means promise or oath of God. Well done.

We've got our famous wolf here, and that's actually right. Well done. Famous wolf is Rudolph. Okay, now we've got Pikachu. And he could be God with us.

God saves mighty battle maid or sparkling mouse sound? Let's have votes for mighty battle maid.

You guys with your hands up are wrong. The answer is pikachu means sparkly mouse sound. There you go. And Tom, I had to put you in that because I thought you might actually be able to translate Pikachu to mean sparkly mouse sound. Now we've got Matilda.

Matilda. Now, Matilda could mean God saves. God with us, almighty battle maid. Let's have votes for God saves God with us mighty battle maid. Absolutely right.

You are a mighty battle made. Fantastic. Which means that I've got two names left for one person. That's a bit strange. What on earth is that all about?

Hmm? Well, no, they're both Matilda. It's Matilda in the early years and then the later years, that came out a lot more cutting than I meant. Let's give these guys a big round of applause. Thank you guys so much.

You can take a seat. Thanks.

Fantastic. We've got a whole bunch of different names there, haven't we, that all have different meanings. I don't know if you know what your name means and whether you were called that because of that meaning, or whether you were called that, maybe despite that meaning, I don't know. But we're left with this one, who's got two names. In our passage, we hear that Joseph is to call Jesus Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.

But then we're also told that he will be called Emmanuel, which means God with us. Why on earth would this baby of Christmas have two names, Jesus and Emmanuel? Well, I've been thinking about that and I want to explain with the help of my eldest, Bethany. Twice in one talk, you get to speak. Come on out.

Come and join me. Come and join me.

There you go. You can hold that. And if you hold it near your mouth, then we can hear you, which is great. Now, Bethany, I know you're excited today, aren't you? Yes.

Excellent. You're excited today, aren't you? Yes. Brilliant. Fantastic.

And one of the things that you're excited about is Christmas dinner. Christmas dinner, absolutely right. I've got a picture of our Christmas dinner here. It's going to look just like this. And let me ask you, how do you feel about the turkey?

Delicious. Delicious. Great. How do you think about Daddy's gravy? Good.

Excellent. That's the right answer. Well done. What about the roast potatoes? Good.

Excellent. Pigs in blankets? The best. The best. Fantastic.

And so on. Whole, you're quite positive about Christmas dinner, right? So we could say, Bethany with Christmas dinner is a happy environment for everybody, right? That works really well. Like God with us is a really happy, really happy environment.

There are some flaws to this analogy. I'm not actually calling Bethany God, but let's just imagine for a moment it's a great and a wonderful thing, isn't it? Being with that which we love, that which is going to fulfil us, that which is going to give us that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. But also sustenance and goodness and life. That's what food gives us, isn't it?

But here's the thing, Bethany. Let's imagine if I take our Christmas dinner and I add one more ingredient.

Here we go. Bethany, how do you feel about Christmas dinner now? It just ruins it all. It ruins it all. What do sprouts taste like, Bethany?

Mouldy socks. Mouldy socks. So let's just get this right without the sprouts. Delicious. Delicious with the sprouts.

Mouldy socks. Mouldy socks. It ruins it all. Now, here's the thing. Why has Jesus got two names?

A God with us sounds great, doesn't it? But there's a problem. The metaphorical sprouts of sin. There you go. That will tweet later.

The Bible describes us as people who get things wrong. Sometimes we're selfish, sometimes we want the last Yorkshire pudding or the last present. We want to open our presents before other people. Maybe it's deeper than that. We think of ourselves before other people.

And there's a problem, you see, because just like for Bethany, the sprouts get in the way of the great meal for us. Our sin gets in the way of us enjoying God with us. In fact, God is so pure and good and right and just that our sin means that us with God with our sin, that is going to ruin everything. It's going to be even worse. The mouldy socks.

But remember, Jesus has two names. God with us and God saves because he will save his people from their sins, if you like. What Jesus does is he allows us to enjoy God with us and he takes our metaphorical sprouts of sin and he deals with them, he takes them from us, he removes them from us as far as the east is from the west. Bethany, thank you so very much indeed. You can take a seat now.

Thank you.

Now, some of you guys are immediately thinking, hey, but here's the thing, Ben, I quite like sprouts.

And actually the truth is we often have that feeling about sin as well, don't we? Some of us, as we grow up, yes, we don't like the selfishness of others. But when it comes to us, actually, I don't mind if I get an extra present of somebody. I don't mind a little bit of selfishness. I don't mind saying a mean thing if it makes me feel better.

Sometimes we can be quite keen on our sin ourselves, but our sin to us is like a chocolate to a dog. They love it at the time, but it's poison. It kills them. Our sin. It might be lovely at the time, but it gets in the way of our relationship with God.

And so we need Jesus not only to be God with us, but also the one who will remove our sin from us. And the amazing news of Christmas is that Jesus does both of those things, both in one for us. That might be something you're hearing for the first time today. It might be something you would like to find out more about. If that is you can, I encourage you.

There's a QR code on the back of your service sheet. Why not scan it? And on that you can simply scan it. Fill in the form, takes you about 2 seconds. You don't have to do anything else today.

I'll get in contact with you in January. And it's just saying that you're interested in thinking about the hope, peace and purpose that Jesus brings. It's three sessions. We'll meet in January 3 times. We can chat about it.

You can ask any question and it's a great chance to think, is Jesus really who he says he is? God with us and the one who can remove our sin from us? And what difference does that make to our hope, peace and purpose? But I'm going to lead us in a prayer. Father, thank you so, so much for Jesus.

Thank you that we can enjoy all the goodness of you being with us. Far better than even the best pig in blanket or Christmas dinner. Thank you that we can do that because you deal with our sprouts of sin. Amen. Amen.

I'm going.