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Advent 2004 -4- Christmas Messengers Bring Us Love

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Reading: Luke 2:8-20

10 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. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.         Luke 2:10-11

I.   A Gospel of great joy

     A.  The news comes to Humble people

           1.  Shepherds – little skill to watch animals

                 a.  Not the “most likely to succeed”

                 b.  A pretty boring job

                 c.  But did require caring

           2.  Shepherds - considered lower class

                 a.  Considered thieves & liars by many

                 b.  Also a carpenter & a young woman

                 c.  But Moses & David were shepherds

           3.  God shows his all-inclusiveness

     B.  The news comes at Night time

           1.  Why not at high noon, in a market-square?

                 a.  This is how I would do it. You?

                 b.  Maybe people wouldn’t notice (?)

                 c.  Maybe God doesn’t want lots of fanfare?

           2.  Jesus enters a dark world

                 a.  The glory/light enters the darkness (v.9)

                 b.  The angels come at night b/c Jesus does

                 c.  Jesus comes into our night

           3.  Wake up!

                 a.  Shepherds sleeping in shifts?

                 b.  Wake up, you gotta see this!

                 c.  Wake up from your sleep!

     C.  This is Joy-Full news

           1.  Joyful for the angels to give (why?)

                 a.  Isn’t this to be pitied?

                 b.  No, it’s a demonstration of God’s love

                 c.  Look: the whole choir shows up!

           2.  Joyful for the shepherds to receive

                 a.  Nobody tells them anything important!

                 b.  City of David: a shepherd, a king!

                 c.  A savior for all the people!

           3.  Joyful for us too!

                 a.  Jesus, born–Wow!

                 b.  He enters our humanness & redeems us

                 c.  The way of peace with God is begun!

II.  This is for All the people

     A.  Though it comes to a Few

           1.  Why does God always seem to start small?

                 a.  A few shepherds/disciples

                 b.  A small church

                 c.  To show everyone: It’s Him!

           2.  Not a secret message! (For all people v.10)

                 a.  Just because it came to a few, at night

                 b.  Good news isn’t for hoarding

                 c.  Angels highlight this–this is for everyone

           3.  On earth peace to God’s chosen

                 a.  Peace to all God’s people

                 b.  Peace=restored relationships

     B.  Spread the news!

           1.  They tell everyone (v.17)

                 a.  They go to Bethlehem (wouldn’t you?!)

                 b.  They see and tell.

                 c.  God entrusts the word so we spread it

           2.  I wonder how many believed them!?

                 a.  They were amazed (v.18)

                 b.  Mary treasured these things in her heart

                 c.  What about the rest of them?

III. He is Christ the Lord

     A.  He is our Savior

           1.  He saves us from God’s anger

                 a.  Yes our wrong-doing earns God’s anger

                 b.  Jesus comes to take our punishment

                 c.  He rescues us from the fires of hell

           2.  He saves us from this dark, hard world

                 a.  From this unloving, cruel place

                 b.  From the darkness of injustice

                 c.  From the tyranny of people’s sinfulness

           3.  He saves us from all that afflicts us

                 a.  From disease, from demonization

                 b.  From all that isn’t right

                 c.  He is still our savior!

     B.  He is the Messiah

           1.  He is anointed as King in David’s place

                 a.  “City of David”                                            

                 b.  He is the one to build a house for God (2Sam 7:13)

                 c.  His kingdom will endure forever (2Sam 7:16)

           2.  He is anointed by the Holy Spirit

                 a.  At his baptism by John the Baptizer

                 b.  After –> miraculous power (Acts 10:38)

                 c.  We are also anointed (1John 2:20)

           3.  He is a different kind of leader!

                 a.  Doesn’t come to slay Philistines

                 b.  Comes humbly to serve the humble

                 c.  Maintains power by love (not force)

     C.  He is our Lord

           1.  Imagine your Lord as a baby in a manger!

                 a.  An Angel of the Lord:“Christ the Lord!”

                 b.  Our Lord as a baby? In a Barn?

                 c.  See how much he loves us!

           2.  God has come as a human being!

                 a.  Because it’s the only way to save us

                 b.  The only way to restore what’s lost

                 c.  We can’t ascend, so he descends.

           3.  He is now the name above every name!

                 a.  He emptied himself of heaven’s glory

                 b.  Even to the point of death on a cross

                 c.  So, His is the name above all names!

The Bottom Line:

We Glorify and Praise God for this Indescribable gift.

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