Oak Grove Community Church

                                                                            (A Non-Denominational, Full Gospel Church)

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE

Christmas Eve Service

This Christmas Eve I would like to share the Christmas story from the pages of Scripture.

MARY

Luke 1:26 (NIV) In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,

27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.

28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.

31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.

32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,

33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.

37 For nothing is impossible with God."

38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."Then the angel left her.

JOSEPH

Matt 1:18 (NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 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.

21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

The Shepherds

Luke 2:1 - 20 (NIV) In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in swaddling cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

The Wise men

Matthew 2:1 - 12 (NIV) After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel. Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Central figure---JESUS

Luke 2:25 (NIV) Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,

28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,

you now dismiss your servant in peace.

30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people,

32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and for glory to your people Israel."

33 The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,

35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."         

“You shall call Him Jesus.” Jesus was a common name for sons in Mary and Joseph’s day. It was the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua—meaning Savior. Many mothers named their sons Joshua in the hope that they would grow up to be the one who would “save Israel” from bondage.

But the angel who brought the announcement brought also an added promise. He shall save His people, not from Roman rule, not from political bondage, and not from financial or physical oppression---but save them from “their sin.” 

Jesus—the Bethlehem baby. Bundled against the chill of a winter night by a very young mother.

Jesus—accepted by Joseph as his charge.

Jesus---visited and praised by lowly shepherds—

worshiped by wise men who traveled from afar to lay their costly gifts at His tiny feet.

Jesus—An infant feared by a mad king. 

Jesus—unrecognized as a possibility and a promise by most of the religious leaders of the day.

Jesus—whose life and death have changed history---who can dwell with us and within us as our Lord and savior and king.

Jesus—the ever-present God who frees us from the bondage of sin and oppression of death.

Jesus—the tiny Bethlehem baby---yet a name that encompasses beauty and grace, hope and power. For we cannot think of the name without thinking beyond to a hill called Calvary---and even beyond that to an empty tomb and His resurrection promise, “Lo, I am with you always-even to the end of the age”

When you look into the manger what is it that you see? Do you see, not just a cute little baby wrapped up in swaddling clothes, but to you see the cross, do you see the empty tomb, do you see the Lord of Lords and King of all Kings! Do you see the fullness of Gods great love for you?

Bonny-sing Mary did you know….

(Communion) Come up by family.

Open communion—

1Cor 11:23 (NIV) The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,

24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me."

25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

  Pastor Terry and Pam Kerr