“Christmas through John 3:16” Part 1

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in the first of a four part series, “Christmas through John 3:16”   taken from John 3:16

Becoming a Child at Christmas

Confession time:  Last year I did not put up a Christmas Tree.

What?  No Christmas Tree?  Yeah, no Christmas Tree.  I know you’re shocked, but with adult children, the magic of Christmas faded a little bit.  Shame on me.

This year is going to be different.

Jesus said in Matthew 8:3, “Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”  I don’t think Jesus was telling us that we need to be childish.  There’s a difference between childish and childlike.  Childish emphasizes some of the negative qualities of childhood. Childlike emphasizes some of the positive qualities of childhood.

The more we know of God, the simpler and more childlike will be our faith.
– J. G. Machen.

When God came into this world, He came as a child.  Yet when He grew into a man He did not lose the positive characteristics of childlike behavior.

Some of the positive qualities of becoming childlike:

  1. Wonder
  2. Excitement
  3. Imagination
  4. Innocence
  5. Accepting of Others
  6. Faith/Trust
  7. Giving and Generosity

I love the movie “Big,” staring Tom Hanks.  The movie is about a 12- year old boy (Josh Baskin) who made a wish to grow up and overnight turned into a 30-year old man.   So here is this 12- year old boy in a 30- year old body.  It’s a comedy and yet one of the beautiful things about the movie is how this boy in an adult body helps all the adults around him recapture their childhood sense of wonder.

In a sense (and it’s a stretch…) that’s sort of what Jesus did in becoming a man.  He helped all those around him not only get a glimpse of what childlike faith looks like, but also what God looks like.  In fact, on one occasion He told His disciples, “You’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.”

So, this Christmas let us all try to be a little more intentional about seeing Christmas through the eyes of a Child lest we MISS something significant.

O Come Let Us Adore Him!

Pastor Bill

 

 

“Living Faith”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Living Faith,” taken from James 2:14-26

“The Problem with Favoritism”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “The Problem with Favoritism” taken from James 2:1-13

“Growing in the Word” Part 2

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in part 2 of a message entitled, “Growing in the Word,” taken from James 1:21-27

“Growing in the Word” Part 1

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in part one of a message entitled, “Growing in the Word,” taken from James 1:19-21

“Dealing with Temptation”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Dealing with Temptation,” taken from James 1:13-18

“The Money Test”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “The Money Test,” taken from James 1:9-12

“A Believing Heart”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “A Believing Heart” taken from James 1:5-8

“Trials and Temptations”

Bill Stegemueller’s message “Trials and Temptations” taken from James 1:2-4 was lost due to technical difficulties