'Christmas (3)' by Martin Day
Standard introduction and entrance (Compere talking is interrupted by spaceship landing sound effects, What's that I can hear? It sounds like a spaceship, and I think it's coming this way! It must be Pod, our friend from outta space. He sometime drops in to pay us a visit, but we've not seen him for ages. Projector shows external scenes with spaceship slide landing. Pod bangs on the door and enters)
Hello Pod, what brings you back to Brookwood after so long?
Good morning Church.
Yes, good morning. Tell me what brings you back?
Turn with me if you would.
(turning round) What do you mean?
Shhh.... If you have a Bible with you, you might like to follow along as I read...
Pod. What are you talking about.
(irritated) I'm just trying to do my job properly
I don't understand. You haven't got a job.
Ah! Well that's where your wrong. I am here this morning by invitation.
Yes a lot of people were invited
But I'm a special guest
And all our Guests are special
That may be so, but Jon Rashbrook, the Pastor of the Brookwood Community Church invited me!
That's right, Jon's name was on all the invites...
Look, I don't think you get it, do you. I'm doing the sermon. Jon ask me to speak this morning on the subject of Christmas. Now you've already messed up my entrance, and I think that you're starting to look a little foolish, don't you? Open your mouth a little wider and you can get both feet in it. (more genially) Please don't interrupt the teaching again. I will take any questions afterwards.
Oh, I'm sorry, if Jon has asked you to speak, then that must be all right, as long as we know who's responsible for the service. You carry on.
Thank you. - I hope you're recording this at the back -: Christmas. Christmas is a time for many things. It is a time for giving... and taking. A time for eating and ... drinking. It's a time for Snow and Rain ... deer and turkeys. It's a time for lights and music, and parties. But most of all it's a time for ... opening presents.
...And that concludes my sermon for today. Coffee is served.
Wait a minute. You've left out the most important thing about Christmas.
Have I? I thought I mentioned the presents.
What about Jesus. Jesus is the only reason we have Christmas.
Really. Well I know how important Jesus is, and how much you love him here. But I don't see what He's got to do with Christmas.
Where do you think the Chrst in Chrstmas came from? From Jesus Chr(eys)st. It's Chr(eye)stmas. See.
No it's not. It's Chrst, Chrstmas. Can't you talk right?
Well let me explain it in a way you can understand. Do you know what a birthday is?
Oh yes. I myself had a birthday only this year. I had a big party.
Did you. What was it like?
Well all my friends were there, we had lots of fun. There were presents and a cake, and everybody sang to me. I had a brilliant time. And I felt really rather special.
Ah, that sounds great.
(to the congregation) Have any of you ever had a birthday like that?
Now Pod. Think of your lovely birthday party. (Pod nods) Now try to imagine what it would have been like, if no one had invited you.
No, no, no. You don't understand it was my party, for my birthday. There'd be no point having a party if I wasn't there.
Yes I know, but just try and imagine what it would be like, to have people celebrating your birthday, without you there.
I wouldn't like that at all. (getting upset) It would feel awful. It would be like... like
It would be just like Xmas.
Xmas is Christmas with Jesus Christ's name taken out.
Like Mr. X when know-one knows who the X is?
That's right. It's sad, but there are lots of people who don't know Jesus. And for them Christmas is like having a birthday party and not inviting the one who's birthday it is. It's just Xmas.
Wow, that's really sad.
In fact there are people who are shopping for Christmas presents in Woking right now. They could have been singing to Jesus with us, if they had understood why Christmas is so special.
So what is it that makes Jesus' birthday so special?
Well Jesus is God. So He never actually needed to be born like us. His home was heaven. But all the people on the Earth had strayed far away from God, even though God wanted us to be part of his family. So He sent Himself in Jesus, to be born into our family. Jesus was born as Mary's son, but He was God's son as well. So he was at home in Heaven, but at home on Earth too.
Wow, it must have been very special the day that Jesus was born. What was it like?
Well, Mary and her Husband-to-be, Joseph were having to travel to the big city when Mary realised that it was time for her baby to be born. They tried to get a room in a hotel, but there weren't any left. So they had to stay in the hotel stables.
What's a stable?
Well it was the place where the people staying in the hotel put their donkey's and horses.
Ah, like a car park?
Well, sort of ...
So they could have stayed in the car?
No... it doesn't work the same with horses and donkeys
No, I was forgetting...
Anyway when the baby Jesus was born. It was just like heaven had burst open and flooded onto earth. There were even angels, singing and telling the news that King Jesus had arrived. The only people out that night were some shepherds, and they saw it happen. They rushed to the town and found the baby wrapped up and lying in the hay that was there for the animals. Jesus had been born into the world so that he could lead us back to heaven.
Wow, that's just amazing. I never know that God cared about people so much.
And that's just the start of the story.
Hey, I've just realised some thing about Xmas. Have you ever heard of 'X marks the spot'?
Yes, That's what you get on a treasure map isn't it?
Yeah, X always marks the spot where the secret treasure is hidden. Well that's what the X in Xmas is. If you know who Mr. X is, then you've found the secret treasure of Christmas... Jesus.
Good for you Pod. I think that's a great end for a sermon.
Hey thanks. You didn't do so bad yourself. Well, I've had a great time, and I've learnt something really important too: That you only have Christmas because God gave you the greatest present that He could ever give: He took all the love that was in His heart, and made it into a baby, and the baby's name was Jesus. Well, good-bye now, Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.
Standard exit (leaves. Spaceship takes off : projector & accompanying sound effects through PA. Well there he goes, I wonder when we'll see him again?)© M Day 14-Dec-1998 & 10-Dec-2001