Faithlife Sermons

Christmas Worship - Part 3

Christmas Worship   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

Allow the story of Christmas to penetrate and give you cause to worship the King of Kings.

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


It is Christmas time! We gather together as God’s people to celebrate the birth of the messiah, Jesus Christ!
Last week, we learned that the Angels taught the shepherds (and us by extension) how to worship. They had just heard the good news of a newborn child born in Bethlehem who would be Christ THE Lord.
Heaven met earth on that amazing Christmas night.
“O Holy Night” is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chretiens” (Midnight, Christians) by a wine merchant and poet, Placide Cappeau. The text reflects on the birth of Jesus and of humanity’s redemption. In Roqueamaure at the end of 1843, the church organ had been renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest asked Cappae, a native of the town, to write a Christmas poem. He wrote the text and the music was written after.
There were several versions written and performed in French and in English. John Sullivan Dwight wrote and composed the version that many of us know and love. This song has been recorded and performed by many different people over the years. (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Martina McBride, and Josh Gracin.)
The night that Jesus was born produced many songs of worship.
"All of life is worship. Whether you worship God or something else, your life advertises what you value most. - Desiring God
A night that began in loud proclamation with the angels and shepherds became a night of calm and contemplation.
Everything that our modern society encourages can be fun and exciting, but can lead to an ending that leaves everyone exhausted for the new year.
What can we learn from the shepherds and Mary to shape our worship in preparation for Christmas?

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.

18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

1. Worship without hesitation. (v. 15-16)

Recap verses 8 - 14.
The shepherd's had just experienced a host of angels praising God after the announcement of the messiah.
Their night/life was shaken forever because of this experience.
What now?
The Shepherds hurried to see for themselves everything that the Angels spoke of and worshipped.
“Let us go” - They believed the words of the angels. There were no misgivings. “Let us go and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.
They left everything they had in a hurry to go see the manger. Lower portion of a Jewish home where animals were kept. 1st century Jewish home. Feeding trough for domesticated animals. Often made of stone.
(The woman at the well had to share what Jesus had told her. She left her pot)
(The disciples left their nets)
(The women left the tomb to go tell the disciples of the Resurrection)
All throughout scripture, there is a common thread of a quick response to God’s good news.
Preaching for people who respond positively in their seats but aren’t willing to put action with their words.
Hesitancy is a worship killer.
This story would be completely different if the shepherds were too afraid to leave their flocks. They had to step outside of themselves and take a risk if they were going to see the messiah.

2. Worship in wonder. (v. 17-18)

Wonder - to marvel or be astonished.
The shepherds made everything known that they had seen and experienced from the announcement of the angel. Seeing Jesus confirmed everything that they had heard.
The shepherds were the first known New Testament evangelists.
These shepherds having charge of their flocks devoted to sacrifice, would be presently in the temple, and would meet those who came to worship and to sacrifice, and so proclaim the messiah in the temple.
Mary, who had just given birth to Jesus was amazed at everything that the angel Gabriel had told her.
Humbled and lowly state. The confusion of this moment would be answered with the type of life that Jesus would live.
His cross began at conception. The blessed mother of Jesus was the human custodian of the mystery. It was part of the Lord's lowliness to be born in a barn.
The biblical word for wonder is hard to translate in this context. There is a mixture of amazement and pondering at work in considering the events here.
We have all been this way before. I love hearing amazing stories by 1st hand account. Norman Hagn.
We all know someone who was present on Christmas night. The Holy Spirit confirms the truth of the angels announcement. We can listen to the words of the Lord and be given a sense of worship.

3. Worship in your mind. (v. 19-20)

Mary’s worship in this story is interesting but not surprising. She contrasts with the shepherds where they spoke out but she kept all these things to herself pondering them in her heart.
This moment was treasured by Mary. she retained it in the inmost recesses of her being.
“Pondered” Lit. “Bringing together”. Comparing and weighing facts. “Defend, preserve, protect, to hold”
Suggests more than remembering. She is trying to put things together here.
This would be difficult. This situation was larger than Mary and went beyond her own comprehension. (26 generations in the making! David, many in between, & Joseph)
Luke rounds off the story with the return of the shepherds, full of praise to God 'for the news they had heard and the sight that had confirmed it'. "Praising God" - leads us to suppose that theirs was a song too. Vehicle for the swelling emotions of their simple hearts at what "they had heard and seen".
2nd note of praise in this section
Praise is the legitimate response to God’s self revelation.
There are moments of worship that draw us our minds to speak words of heaven and there are moments of worship that astound us beyond words.
The story couldn’t have been written any better to add or take away from it.
When the rest of the world was speaking about what had happened, Mary was preserving this moment in her mind. We too, can treasure the story of Christmas in our hearts like Mary. This is worship.


Has the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season worn you out? Has everything been said and done?
Today is a day to rest and ponder on the messiah being born to this earth. Nothing has been the same since and you don’t have to be either.
You can be different. Maybe no one can tell the peace that you have on the outside, but you can be peaceful on the inside knowing what Jesus has done.
Related Media
Related Sermons