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-Raise your hand if you are usually upstairs on Sunday mornings in super church (not Next)
-We are very glad you are here with us today.
The reason you are not here every week is because we care about you so much.
- Down here: We want the adults to be able to pay attention…love Jesus, love you
- Upstairs: We want you to hear about Jesus in ways you can understand and apply.
Raise your hand if you are in Next: Older next…almost ready to be here, but upstairs is helping you be ready to become the next leaders.
-Soon (too soon for your parents)…you will be youth group leaders.
-You are the next generation of God’s leaders…we want you to be ready.
This Sunday, you are our special guests…we want to do our best to help you understand how to know and love Jesus.
So, I’m going to talk to you, mostly…and if the grownups are really paying attention this morning…God will speak to them too.
Its going to be noisy and fun…but what we are going to talk about is what life is all about…so fun but real.
Advent is a word that means arrival, it’s when someone important comes to see us.
Yeah, its Christmas Eve but Christmas is also called advent…the time we celebrate the coming of Jesus.
Question: Raise your hand if you have grandparents or cousins or friends here this weekend.
You were probably excited, waiting for them to come…to arrive.
When they showed up…that was advent.
You waited a long time for someone special to come and they did!
People waited a long, long time for Jesus to come.
But when he came, it wasn’t like they had expected.
They expected a King and he was…but he came as a baby King…who grew to be a savior man.
That was his first arrival…as a baby.
Just like people waited a long, long time for him to come…we are waiting for him to come back.
Jesus will come back someday, not as a baby…but as a grown up King.
Just like your grandparents or someone special has come now and then they will leave.
But sometime…maybe in the summer or next Christmas they will come back.
In the middle of those two times…now and next summer.
You don’t see them but you still love them, and look forward to them coming back.
This morning we are going to talk about how Jesus came, why Jesus came, and what we should do while we wait for him to come back.
- 1. How Jesus came:
Jesus is a lot like you and me but he is very, very different.
Just like you, he was born as a baby.
But he was very different in that before he was born as a baby, he lived as the creator of all things.
This is surprising and hard to understand…but since he is God…its not hard for him at all.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) , and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. 2 Jesus was with God in the beginning. 3 Jesus made everything, there is nothing that Jesus has not made.
Question: Look at these pictures.
–Raise your hand if you think they drew themselves?
–Raise your hand if you think somebody drew them?
-Actually Haddie and Eva drew them.
What about this picture do you think somebody painted it?
-Raise your hand if you think someone painted it?
-Raise your hand if you think someone did not paint it? (maybe someone spilled paint)
-You are both sort of right.
-In 1964 four paintings by a previously unknown artist named Pierre Brassau were exhibited in an art show in Sweden.
Pierre’s works were celebrated more than any at the multi-national show.
One art critic wrote “Most of the works here are ponderous(dull, clumsy) but not those of Brassau: He paints with powerful strokes, but also with clear determination. Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer.”
One lone critic declared “Only an ape could have done this.”
He was right, this is Pierre Brassau…it was a successful hoax.
Designed to embarrass art critics over their embracing of modern art…it worked…at least it made them mad.
But even though it was done by a monkey, you still see some design in it.
Not as much as in Haddie and Eva’s…but some.
Look at these things and tell me if you think they happened on purpose, or if you think they made themselves.…bumblebee, dolphin, person.
Do they look like someone really smart and really creative made them?
Question: Look at your hand…now tell your finger to move…to wiggle.
Did it work? Amazing!
You are such a wonderfully designed piece of art.
You happened on purpose, not by accident.
God decided he would create you, so he did.
He used a mommy and a daddy…just like an artist uses paints and brushes.
But the paints and brushes don’t make the painting…the artist does.
You were created on purpose…by God.
When an artist creates something he does it for a purpose.
So maybe the artist wants people to enjoy his painting…maybe he wants to help people be happy.
Jesus was born as a baby, much like you were.
He had a mom, and a dad…but God was his dad in a very special way
His birth was sort of like yours…but very, very different than yours.
And just like you…he was born on purpose…and his purpose is something like yours…
But his purpose was very different than yours.
So what was his purpose and how was it like yours?
How was it different than yours?
Let’s look at why Jesus came.
- Jesus came to be the Life-Light in the darkness
John 1:4 Jesus is where life comes from, and his life gives light to everyone. 5 His light shines in the darkness, but the darkness just can’t put it out.
Question: Dark box
- Does anybody get scared when it is really, really dark?
-When Christy is out of town, I leave a lamp on in the living room (true story…she didn’t even know that)
-The dark is not friendly
-Turn on the light, the darkness goes away.
-Not as scary…why…because we can see.
- What happens if you try to walk through your house and there are lots of toys on the ground and its really dark? Ouch!
-Not safe to walk in the dark.
-Light makes us safe
- What else does light do, well..it makes things more beautiful.
- Here’s a picture of the sky with no lights…what do you see?
- Here’s a picture of the sky with a little light
- Here’s a picture of the sky with a lot of light
Dark has no color, light has all the colors…it makes things beautiful.
Jesus in our lives give us peace in our hearts, makes our lives safer, and more beautiful.
So he came to give us life-light.
That means that when we give our lives to Jesus and tell him we want to love and obey him…he gives his life to us.
When we have his life, we have his light.
1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as Jesus is in the light, we have great friendships with one another, and Jesus’s death on the cross takes away all of the sin-darkness in our hearts.
So…if we trust Jesus and obey him…we get to walk safely in his beautiful light and it means our relationships with our friends and family can be safe and beautiful as well.
But there is something we need to do to have his life-light in our lives…we have to believe in him.
Just like Jesus we were born for a purpose…he was born to be the light.
We were born to walk in his light and to help others walk in his light.
But before we can help others walk in the light…we have to do that ourselves.
“If we walk in the light…then we have his life.”
*What do we do between the first time he came and the second time he will come?
- We must believe him to have his life-light in our lives.
John 1:11. Many people just don’t believe in Jesus. But everyone who receives him into their hearts by believing he is really the Savior, well they become his forever children.
Question: Do you have to see something to believe in it?
-who thinks you do? Raise your hand.
-who thinks you don’t?
Does anyone have a heart inside their body?
Raise your hand if you have one.
Where is it?
What does it do?
Anyone see your heart right now?
If you can’t see it why do you believe it is real?
Some good reasons might be:
You can feel it.
You are alive.
Someone told you about it…someone you trusted.
1Pet. 1:8 Though you have not seen Jesus (with your eyes), you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with his great joy in your heart.
Story of the man who some thought never was.
There was a man who went into a town and began to do nice things for people…he fixed their bicycles, he built schools, taught and played children, all kinds of things.
But then the man went away and some people who had not seen him doing those things didn’t really believe in the man.
The “we don’t believers” said…”why should we believe in him, we haven’t seen him?”
The “we do believers” said…”but look around, he did all this…you can see what he has done.”
The “we don’t believers” said… “maybe he didn’t do all this, maybe someone else did, maybe it has just always been like this.”
The “we do believers” said…”But no, he has helped me, I can tell you what he has done in my life.”
The “we don’t believers” said…”How do we know he helped you, why should we believe you?”
But then one young girl, I think she was maybe about 6 or 7 years old said “I believe, even though I have not seen him.”
She said “I believe these people I love who believe in him, and they have not ever lied to me before.”
She said “I believe in all these things I see, I see what he has done.”
She said “I believe because my heart tells me this is true. Its not the only reason because sometimes my heart doesn’t tell me the truth…but this time it is telling the truth..for all of these reasons and more.”
That’s just a story of those who believed and those who did not believe.
But Jesus really did come and he really will come again.
You don’t have to see him to believe in him…but when you believe in him you will see him do wonderful things in your life.
Question: Let’s talk about what it means to believe?
-Raise your hand if you are going to get presents tonight or tomorrow?
–Well how to you know?
-Maybe those packages are just empty or there are just some vegetables in them.
-You believe because you trust someone…then you show that you believe by taking the gift they offer you and opening it.
God has given you a gift…Jesus…the life-light.
To receive his gift you have to believe…believe means you tell him “Yes, I want this gift and I will let Jesus have my life, I will do what he wants me to do.”
Light brings peace, safety, and beauty…Jesus is the light…we can see him in many ways, but to live in his light…we must believe him.
Since this is a real story…we must really open the gift God has given us…by believing Jesus is the light of the world…who came to bring light to the dark caused by our own sins.
Conclusion: Let me talk to adults for a moment.
Adults: We are all children, but none of this is merely a children’s story.
The light of Jesus brings: safety, peace, direction, clarity, beauty, joy, relationship
We know what is it like when someone we love does not walk in the light…some of you are heartbroken over people who have walked out of the light into the dark.
Some of you have experienced the lack of safety, peace, beauty and direction that the light brings… maybe you are now walking in the dark out of the light.
Long before he was born, the prophet said about Jesus…”The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. Those living in death’s shadow dawn has come.”
Dark is everywhere…there is reason to despair.
Dark cannot overcome the light…there is better reason to hope.
You can only choose for yourself…no one else…you can decide to walk in the light.
Even if you are already Christ follower…you must continue to choose to walk in the light…if not you will walk out of the peace, safety, clarity and beauty of the light.
His live illuminates all aspects of our lives.
What matters most at the end matters most now…relationship with God and others.
If we walk in the light…then there is beauty and clarity in our relationships. with one another
Ongoing wholeness in our relationship with God.
1John 1:7 But IF we walk in the light, as he is in the light, (THEN)we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.