Christmas Eve (11 PM Candelight/Youth-led service)
Monday, December 24, 2007
The youth have a special message to share with you tonight, and really I mainly want them to tell you about why we celebrate Christmas.
But I have to tell you, it’s really mainly about RC, Royal Crown Cola (pull out 2-liter).
I don’t mean that the youth aren’t ready to lead the service because they’re busy getting some soda. No, they’re ready. In fact, last night when the youth were practicing I was the only one drinking a soda.
Instead what I mean is that the theme for tonight, the Treasure of Christmas, it’s all about an RC, it’s all about a Royal Crown. Although maybe not this kind of royal crown.
Take a look on the screens at two verses from Isaiah chapter 28(:5-6). Isaiah says,
In that day the LORD Almighty will be a glorious crown,
a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.
He will be a spirit of justice
to him who sits in judgment,
a source of strength
to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
“The LORD Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath,” a royal crown on the heads of His people.
Tonight the youth will share with you about how Jesus is our treasure, a treasure born this night, and that’s what Isaiah is saying here.
A king’s crown is a beautiful treasure, and Isaiah is saying that we are crowned with the greatest treasure: the Lord Himself. You have a royal crown, and that crown is Jesus. The Lord is our royal crown, our treasure, our everything. Just as a king without a crown is not a king at all, so if we don’t have the Lord as our royal crown, then we’re nothing.
Jesus came at Christmas to be our royal crown, to give us His spirit of justice, truth, love, grace, and mercy. Jesus came at Christmas, took one look at our shabby lives, and decided to put a crown on our heads, His crown, His own royal nature. The Lord is your royal crown, your treasure, the One who sets you up to be His servant in all that do.
Isaiah gives two examples in these verses of what it means to serve the Lord because you have His royal crown. “[The Lord] will be a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment.” In other words, if you’re a judge, if you have the responsibility of making judgments and decisions, then your ability to judge right and wrong, to correctly handle situations, your ability will come from the Lord. The Lord is the spirit of justice working in you; the Lord is your royal crown, your treasure, the One who gives you the ability to serve Him in truth and love.
Again Isaiah gives an example: “[The Lord will be] a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.” If you’re a soldier, if you’re in a battle, if you have the responsibility of protecting others, then your strength comes from the Lord. The Lord is the strength working in you; the Lord is your royal crown, your treasure, the One who gives you the ability to stand up against whatever attacks you.
Those are just two examples that Isaiah gives, and you might not be a judge or a soldier. But the same principle applies to all of us: You don’t go out and do great things because you’re so great; you can go out and do great things for the Lord and for others because you’ve got a royal crown on your heads, because you’re got Jesus as your crown.
Jesus is our treasure, but Jesus the Treasure turns right around and makes us His Treasure. He has a royal crown, He’s the King of Kings as you’ll hear, but Jesus turns around and crowns us with His royalty, beauty, and holiness. Christmas, the birth of Jesus is God’s gift to the world, but Jesus came to make us a gift to the Father. Jesus came to make us into holy, innocent, forgiven people of God. That’s a royal crown, indeed.
So now when you’re at your Christmas parties, or when you’re walking down the grocery store aisle, you’ve got a sermon in a bottle right there with the RC, Royal Crown Cola. The soda might be called Royal Crown, but we know that our true royal crown is Jesus Himself.