No Normal Christmas

A message from
Matt Heard

Read more about

Matt Heard



Luke 2 (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 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.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 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 on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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 may now dismissyour servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31    which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
   and the glory of 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.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

About This Sermon Series


Stewardship Update

Northland Tithes & Offerings
Need for Fiscal (7/1/20-6/30/21) $9.5M
As of 12/21/2020
If you'd like to learn more or have questions related to finances at Northland, contact our finance team at
Generosity on Display

What a generous church you are, Northland! You are constantly looking to be the light like never before—coming together as a body of believers with a unified objective. In a world filled with fear and anxiety, You, Northland, have represented hope and love. You have altered your NORMAL to become an even greater witness of the saving grace of Jesus Christ by comforting, welcoming, and reassuring those in our community. As believers, we know God is in control, but to those searching for answers in these tumultuous times, you have been a beacon of hope and a reminder of Jesus.

The work we do as a church to serve others, provide refuge, bless those in need, pray for those hurting, present the Gospel, and so much more; are only possible through your generosity. Not only your financial generosity, but also through your willingness to volunteer, serve, and pray.

Through your financial support, we provided for many central Floridians who are facing difficult financial situations as a result of this pandemic. Your willingness to provide to Christmas House, our annual shopping experience for families in need, gave us the platform to not only brighten Christmas for a record number of families but ensure the Story of Jesus was shared with each one. We have increased our online presence bringing the Good News of Jesus to hundreds of thousands across the globe.

“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.” – John 3:16 NIV

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus today, we look to the baby King, and we see all the love God has for us. This incredible gift is ours for the asking. If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, there is no better gift for you to unwrap this year than accepting His gift of forgiveness by turning the control of your life over to the One who made you.

God bless you, Northland, as you are people who recognize we can accomplish a great deal for the Lord as individuals, but when we join together, the potential is beyond our dreams. Thank you for your prayers, your shares, your cheers, and your tears. Most importantly, thank you for your obedience to being the light to the world.

What's Current

Belong & Grow

This session of Belong and Grow will meet via Zoom. It will be fun and family friendly! More details will come your way after you register.

Tuesdays, January 26 to February 16, 6:30 P.M.- 8 P.M. | via Zoom

This is a 4-week class. Registration is required. 


Lead Pastor Prayer

Join us as we come together as a church to pray for our lead Pastor as God prepares him for us and us for him.

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Christmas Engage

The latest edition of our Engage newspaper is ready just in time for the new year!

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Stop by the Bookstore

Need to pick up a last-minute gift or stocking stuffer? Stop by the Northland Bookstore after service!

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Digging Deeper

These questions invite you to dive a little deeper into this week's message, "

No Normal Christmas


This Advent season we have a special 5-week study that contains scripture, digging-deeper questions, family activities and more. Follow along with us each week as we journey through this Advent season. For the full study download it here >

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» DECEMBER 26-27
FOLLOWING JESUS TOGETHER | Unmet Expectations | Matthew 28:19-20 | Tom Horvath

ONE STORY, ONE SCRIPTURE, ONE SAVIOR | 2 Timothy 3:15-17 | Gus Davies

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