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The Effects of Christ's Coming

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Good Morning, we are in our series, The Cast of Christmas.
Over the past couple weeks we have been looking at the Advent from the perspective of the the prophets who foretold the coming of Christ, then the Angels who proclaimed the Birth to the shepherds..
Today are going to look at the same verses in Luke 2:8-15 from the perspective of the Shepherds..who received the message From the angels.
Several years ago we having some church gathering in the conference room when we had a minor earth tremor…
it was such a weird sensation .. the room began to move… thought for a moment I was having some sort of health episode.. but thankfully we all experience the tremor..
the funny thing was when I got home and asked the family whether they had felt the tremor… they said they felt something… It just so happened the kids had at the same time as the tremor done some and got in trouble and they said we felt something but just thought it was mom....
It is interesting to think that beneath earth crust are these tech-tonic plates that are constantly pushing against each other and shifting and moving… It is estimated that there is an earthquake every 30 seconds.. but the majority of those are too weak to be recorded… Larger earthquakes happen about 100 times a year..
Eventually the earth gives way to the presure and stress and this results in an earthquake... .
The most powerful earthquake ever recorded was the Great Chilean earthquake in 1960… It struck at about 3:15 in the afternoon and lasted somewhere around 10 minutes… The earthquake registered somewhere around 9.4 - 9.6 on the Richter scale..
So how much power is that? A magnitude 5.0. Is about 200 tons of TNT.... that quite a bit… for example 20 tons can blow up a warehouse...
but increases substantially as you go up the scale.. A magnitude 9.0 is equivalent to 99 000 tons of TNT… the equivalent of about 25000 nuclear bombs going off similtaneously… Thats a Lot of energy..
The Great Chilean Earthquake was so large that it cause a massive a massive tsunami…That they record waves reaching the Hight of 35 feet some 6000 miles away...
The incarnation is the Breaking in of God into History.. It was much bigger event than the Great Chilean Earthquake.. the effects of Christ’s coming was felt well into the first - 2n and 3rd Centuries.. Continued through the reformation in 1500’s and continue to feel the Effects of his coming..
At the Center of Story is this interaction between the Angels and the Shepherds..
The shepherds were not the extras in the story.. they are up front and center... they are the first to to receive the News of the Birth of the Savior.
lets read our text
Luke 2:8–15 ESV
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
It is fascinating that the Angels come to the Shepherds first.. we have to ask ourselves ..Why the shepherds? Why not to priests or scribes?
I think that there are couple of reasons…
Firstly, it reveals something about God’s heart toward the disenfranchised of our world.. those we might be on the fringes and neglected…
God comes to us in the simplicity of Mary and Joseph… In the simplicity of a manger… and in the simplistic of the shepherds..
The Gospel is to the least of them…
last week… I mentioned that the.. Shepherds were despised by even the “good,” respectable people of that day.
According to the Mishnah, shepherds were under a ban. They were regarded as thieves.Scholars speculate that the only reason the flocks were so close to Jeruselem was because these men were keeping the sacrificial animals for the temple.
The fact that God revealed himself to the shepherds first tells us something about God’s deep compassion and heart for humanity...
Secondly, God comes to Shepherds because of their heart for nurturing…
Even though Shepherds had a lowly position in society… there was something about the nature and nurture of the role of shepherding that God is drawn towards...
God often chose Shepherds in the scriptures to lead his people..
He chose Abraham, Moses, King David who were all shepherds , In psalms 23 we are told that Lord is our Shepherd.. in John 10:2. Jesus compares himself to the Good Shepherd - who comes through gate and whom the sheep recognize his voice and he call his sheep by name and he leads them out…
The work of a shepherd was (and still is) extraordinarily difficult. They had to wrangle obstinate sheep.
They had to ensure their flocks were well fed. And they had to fend off predators: wolves or even larger animals like bears or lions. Sometimes unsavory characters would come in and try to steal the sheep.
The reason the shepherds were awake on this night that the angels appears.. was because the were on watch… taking shifts, ensuring the livestock were safe and guarded..
Another Reason God chose the angel is that He knew Shepherds would get the word out… …
When you think about it ...
We know little or anything about...
The great diplomats and ambassadors of two thousand years ago, the councils that met and made peace treaties that were signed … How many of those treaties are remembered?
But with these trusted shepherds the world today 2000 year later still reverberates with the peacemaking message of a group of amateur preachers and peacemakers… who told the angels story....
The Shepherds show us the Ripple Effects of the coming of Christ...
T/s The first Effect is that...

1. The Birth of Christ Breaks the Silence.

You can imagine the shepherds out in the star lit night.. and just the sounds of the night.. maybe a gentle breeze… and then all of a Sudden the angel Gabriel appears and the Glory of God surrounds them..
Lets read...
Luke 2:13–14 ESV
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
The angels appearing is a dramatic scene.. It is like an announcer standing on stage before a curtain.
The curtain rises, and “suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel” (v. 13).
“Suddenly” (Gk. exaiphnēs) indicates that what follows is not something that is divinely given..
What is significant about this scene is that angels break 400 years of prophetic silence.. This is the period between the OT and NT which has been called, “the silent years” Because.... There was no prophetic word…since the Prophet Malachi...
But on the Night that Jesus was born God broke into the silence.....
What followed were the ripple affects of God Breaking the Silence.. When God broke the silence....
When God broke the silence...
a. Light came into Darkness.
Several weeks back we changed and we gained an hour… but, when it gets to about 4 O’clock… it just seems so dark… Sometimes the darknesses impacts us..
Darkness can impact our vision… It can impact our emotions the way that we feel about life… Darkness can impact our actions… When it so Dark --- we may not want to do certain things…
What happens is that we can get caught up in darkness… we can let the darkness.. impact our world and taint our world views…
The impact of incarnation does brings light back into our darkness..
This what John tells us… that when Christ came into the world He brought light..
John 1:4–5 ESV
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There is this struggle between the darkness and the light in our world… between God’s light and unregenerate humanity…
John tells us that Christ shines Spiritual light into the world…
Christ is not bringing light but he himself is the light..
When the angels came with the Glory of God they were reflecting the light…Just as the moon reflects the rays of the sun.… We know that the moon is just a dim reflection of the greater light of the Sun… John tells us that Christ who is the light of men has come into our world…
We need to remember that it is the nature of darkness to try to quench the light.
Here John tells us that “the light shines,” continually...
Timeless light has invaded our time, and we can see it in our darkness. What a promise that when God light shines — the darkness cant overcome it...
When God broke the silence...
b. It brought us the answer to our Yesterdays..
The angel Gabriel Brings a message of Good news..
Luke 2:11 ESV
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
There is great emphasis on the fact that “today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you” (2:11).
The word “today”stresses the fact that it is on this very day — Things were going to be different… From this day forward there was going to a means of God reconciling man to himself...
This is the turning point of the ages — today also apply’s to all the “yesterdays”...
God rescues us today from all our yesterdays… When God broke the silence it is good news… because it dealt with the failures of the Past… Gospel always moves forward...
The angel said that the “good news” was “for all the people.”
Good News is God comes today so that we don’t have to live in the yesterdays… this is what the apostle Paul taught us.
Philippians 3:13–14 ESV
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
T/s When God broke the silence...
c. He came to meet our need for real wholeness...
Luke uses the word savior on purpose..
At the time of Christ’s birth — It was during peace time… and everyone was looking to the Roman Emperor Caesar as Savior…
It seems like Caesar was the one who brought Peace..
Here is the thing there Saving wasn’t going to come from a politcal figure it was going to come from God himself… Because Caesar wouldn’t be able to give the Peace that they really needed...
The meaning is peace; Jesus’ birth is to bring peace, shalom, blessedness, fullness.
T/s What are the aftershocks of the incarnation? How does the Breaking in of Christ impact our lives?
1. The Birth of Christ Breaks the Silence

2. The Birth of Christ Demystifies the Mystery.

This time of the year there is the big build up to Christmas… It is wonderful exciting time of the year…putting up the trees and lights… Everything builds up to Christmas Day… Then there is this anticlimax following Christmas day… In England they have another day called boxing day…
What happens when all the Hype is gone?
The message came with the Glory of God... Came with the heavenly choir and then it all died down... the night went silent.. The angels fade into the background … How do the Shepherds Respond?
Luke 2:15–17 ESV
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
After the angels fade into the background the shepherds had a choice....
They could have gone back to keeping watch over their sheep... Get back to the routines of life…
They could have paused.... thought to themselves…
that is interesting but what does that message have to do with us shepherds.. But that’s not what happens… they talked among themselves…
I think that one of the reasons that God chose shepherds is that they were insatiably Curious..
Leonardo da Vinci once observed that the average human "looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking."
But not da Vinci never went anywhere without his notebooks, in which he recorded ideas and observations in mirror-image cursive. His journals contain the genesis of some of his most ingenious ideas—a helicopter-like contraption he called an orinthopter, a diving suit, and a robotic knight. While on his own deathbed, he meticulously noted his own symptoms in his journal.
That's devotion to learning. Seven thousand pages of da Vinci's journals have been preserved. Bill Gates purchased eighteen pages for $30.8 million a few decades ago.
These shepherds were Curious.. The shepherds said to one another...
“Let us see this thing that has happened..
They recognized that this was a special revelation from God.. and they went to investigate —
The shepherds were perhaps camped about a mile from the inn, and they certainly took off running, leaping the low Judean fences and entering the enclosure wide-eyed and panting. T
hey searched the stalls around the perimeter of the enclosure and quickly found the new mother and her baby among the animals...
Gilbert K. Chesterton english writer and theologian… Pointed out that the problem of Christianity is not the message… Rather he said..
“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” Gilbert K. Chesterton
As, soon as the angels leave…and find if what the angels proclaimed was the truth..
Luke 2:15 ESV
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
There are two words used for Revelation in the scripture.. One is the word Logos — that applies to the written word of God… (Divine inspiration) then another word is the word Rhema which applies to Special revelation.. it is when the Spirit of God quickens his word and logos becomes reality…
What is interesting in this verse it the
"thing (Logos) that has happened (Revealed)".
In other words
Something ‘has happened’.... but it is also something ‘which the Lord has made known’; not simply an event, but an event - plus a revelation
In other words the Mystery of Christ has been made known… The prophets spoke about the mystery… but now God has fully disclosed the mystery in Christ...
When the Shepherds arrive at the manger and see Jesus exactly like the angels had proclaimed - demystified the Mystery.... John tells us the same thing — When the word who was from the begining… The Word who was with God and the word who was God becomes flesh…
John 1:14 ESV
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
When we get a revelation of who Christ is for us.... Christ is no longer a mystery...
When people get faith in the Bible we see that Christ no longer becomes this distant figure whom we can’t figure out … Jesus No longer becomes this figure in history, but a person that we can know in the present…
T/s What are the aftershocks of the incarnation? How does the Breaking in of Christ impact our lives?
1. The Birth of Christ Breaks the Silence
2. The Birth of Christ Demystifies the Mystery.

3. The Birth of Christ is the Conduit for Blessing.

A conduit is simply the channel or means through which something moves from one point to another. It can be airwaves for radio or television communication, pipes for water or wires for electricity.... When we putting up lights and extension chords we moving power from one side of the house to the next… What happens to these Shepherds is that we see that become the Conduits of blessing..
Luke 2:18–20 ESV
And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
What we see is this Pipeline of blessing… The Angels declare the Good News to the Shepherds..
The shepherds receive the message…and the message touches their lives…
When the shepherds.. saw Christ in the manger... they knew that all that the angels had proclaimed was the truth...
They then make Known — What the angels had told them to those whom were around them.... This could have been the people in the inn.... or those in surrounding Bethlehem… We are told that all who heard and saw the shepherds were Amazed.
This is how the Gospel has spread over the last 2000 years… It is this golden Conduit… lives that have been in AWE of Christ Glory in the manger…
John Piper tells us that
The conduit of God's blessings does not need to be lined with gold. Copper will do. John Piper
The reason is the Power is in the Word of God...
Romans 1:16 ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
It is not witnesses who invoke the word, but the Word that calls, creates, and empowers witnesses.
The message itself contains transformative power through the person of Christ. The message has domino affect on Humanity... begining with Angels and Shepherds.. (ground Zero) Revealed, received, responded and retold.
The Results — That those who Hear the Shepherds words.. are Amazed...
Surprise soon gave way to wonder and marvel at what God had done. Everyone in Bethlehem began talking about God’s mysterious surprise
d. At the same time Mary Pondered these things in her heart.
Mary treasured up all these things in her heart.. Mary TREaSURED preserved the memory within her heart..
BY PONDERING IN HER HEART.... symabalo - means to conver, ponder, or to compare to throw together.. dash together, to join or unite.
This word is in the imperfect tense, connoting something ongoing; thus, “to ruminate,” even “to wrestle with.” In addition to pondering, Mary “interpreted” events in her heart.
Conclusion
Shepherds returned to Shepherding..
Luke 2:20 ESV
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
.They went back to the hard work of shepherding sheep... they went back to the ordinary life.. but they had been transformed from the inside out…
They went back changed..
the Message says when the shepherd returned they let loose -- glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard...
The did not stop glorifying... praising... God.. for what the had seen..
Shepherds returned - glorifying and praising God for all they had HEARD, SEEN AND BEEN TOLD
Earthquakes have this ripple affect…move from the epicenter out… Not only does the initial quake impact but also the aftershocks...
I was reading an article American Science entitled -The Shocking Truth about Aftershocks - It has been thought that aftershock lasts a couple days after the event..
What they are discovering is that some of these tremors are actually aftershocks of earthquakes that happened a couple of 1000 years ago…
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