THE COLOR OF CHRISTMAS
Pastor Steve Lummer
RED: The Color of Christmas
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
A DECLARATION WE ALL KNOW – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
1. WHY RED IS THE COLOR OF CHRISTMAS.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Seven tangible places Jesus sacrificed
1. Gethsemane 2. The Stripes on his back 3. The crown of thorns
4. His pierced hands 5. His pierced feet 6. His pierced side 7. his bruised body.
2. GETTING INTENTIONAL ABOUT GOD’S INTENTIONS.
1 John 4:7-21 – Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
3. THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS WHEN YOU LIVE IN GOD’S INTENTION
Romans 8:28-38 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ….36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
WHEN WE BLEED WE BLESS.
“Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” Matthew 9:12 (message)
I just love the impact of some people that change history by their acts of courage.
The brave actions of one man ended the gruesome Coliseum games in ancient Rome for good. For his peaceful protest against barbarianism, Telemachus paid with his life. During the reign of the Roman Empire, Romans attended gladiatorial games at the Coliseum for entertainment. There gladiators would fight criminals, prisoners and vicious animals until death.
Telemachus was a monk. Telemachus was a little simple man who enjoyed living in the out back of beyond, places full of the wonders of God’s creation, a hermit. He was quite content and had no reason to want to do anything else, his life was devoted to prayer. But one day, he felt that God was telling him to go to Rome. He hated Rome. He enjoyed his monastic lifestyle, absent of the hustle and bustle of city life. But God needed him in Rome. So Telemachus left his reclusive lifestyle to obey God.
He entered the streets of Rome on January 1, 404 AD. Immediately, he was overwhelmed by the artwork and monumental architecture, and was also disgusted by the way man worshipped himself in that city.
He got caught up in a crowd of people and was almost involuntarily led into the Colosseum. As he sat in the there, he was shocked by the spectacle of bloodletting and sadism that was meant to entertain the masses. Humans massacring and butchering one another. He could not believe what he saw. As soon as the violence started, he stood up and screamed out, “In the name of Christ, stop this!” His voice carried well in the acoustic masterpiece. Everybody heard him. He ran down the stairs and into the center of the arena, all along repeating his plea, “In the name of Christ, stop this!” People laughed. Someone yelled from the stands, “Kill him! Run him through!” A gladiator threw him out of his way and then sent a spear right through Telemachus. The stadium fell silent. Telemachus, doubled over with the spear in his gut, blood spilling on the ground, dying, said one last time, “In the name of Christ, stop this!” A small old man, lifeless, blood soaked – dead – at the foot of a gladiator. His selfless act changing the course of history.
Silence. Then one man stood and walked out. Then another, and another, until the thousands and thousands of people in the Colosseum had left. But this was not the end. Although there were other factors, the death of Telemachus solidified the opposition to the gladiatorial battles. Emperor Honorius was so moved by Telemachus’ actions, he issued an edict, banning the gruesome gladiatorial battles. The Colosseum had witnessed it’s last fight. Telemachus was designated as a saint for his heroic stance for humanity and truth.
He had done more for God as well as humanity in those few minutes – impacting the lives of many than he had achieved all those years living in a cave out the back of beyond. It’s time for us too, to get out of our caves and yell to this world – IN THE NAME OF CHRIST, STOP THIS!!!
There is a big difference between living INTENTIONAL and living ACCIDENTAL.