THE CHRISTMAS CHALLENGES by Ernest Easley
The Christmas Challenges
Ernest L. Easley
With only four days until Christmas, take your Bible and turn with me to Luke 1 where we find the angel Gabriel, sent by God, to a young virgin named Mary with a special announcement. And it is that announcement that I want to talk to you about today.
There were so many challenges leading up to that first Christmas Day. We talk a lot about the Christmas celebration and there is much to celebrate. Here is how angel Gabriel described that celebration in Luke 1.28 speaking to the Virgin Mary, ''Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.'' Verses 30-33, ''Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His Father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.''
And then in Luke 2 another one of God's special angels described the celebration to the shepherds in Luke 2.10-11, ''Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.''
How we enjoy thinking and talking and thanking God for the Christmas celebration! But let's face it, along with the Christmas celebration comes the Christmas challenges! Frankly, the Christmas celebration brings with it many challenges. Friend, Christmas has ALWAYS brought challenges starting with that very first Christmas! And it is some of those challenges that I want to talk to you about today.
So what challenges were faced that first Christmas that we still face today?
(1) There are the FAMILY CHALLENGES.
This Christmas you may feel like Charlie Brown who said to his sister Sally, ''Holidays always depre ...