Summary: This is the final lesson of the series. It is a reminder for us to embrace our discipleship and boldly share the good news of our King.
1. Series Review -- Close Encounter of the Holy Kind
a. We have a universal longing for God -- Ecclesiastes 3.11
b. His singular provision is his glory/presence within and among us
c. We have a common access to that glory in and through the church
d. The Epic Failure of Many Churches -- Loss of that Presence
e. The Process to Reclaim the Glory of God
* Unapologetic preaching of God's Word
* The Unashamed Adoration of His Son
* The Unceasing Prayers of His People (1 Thessalonians 5.17)
* The Bold Demonstration of God's People --
2. Black Death/Bubonic Plague
In the early 1330s an outbreak of deadly bubonic plague occurred in China. The bubonic plague mainly affects rodents, but fleas can transmit the disease to people. Once people are infected, they infect others very rapidly. Plague causes fever and a painful swelling of the lymph glands called buboes, which is how it gets its name. The disease also causes spots on the skin that are red at first and then turn black.
Since China was one of the busiest of the world's trading nations, it was only a matter of time before the outbreak of plague in China spread to western Asia and Europe. In October of 1347, several Italian merchant ships returned from a trip to the Black Sea, one of the key links in trade with China. When the ships docked in Sicily, many of those on board were already dying of plague. Within days the disease spread to the city and the surrounding countryside.
By the following August, the plague had spread as far north as England, where people called it "The Black Death" because of the black spots it produced on the skin. A terrible killer was loose across Europe, and Medieval medicine had nothing to combat it.
In winter the disease seemed to disappear, but only because fleas--which were now helping to carry it from person to person--are dormant then. Each spring, the plague attacked again, killing new victims. After five years 25 million people were dead--one-third of Europe's people.
People came up with crazy ideas as to the cause and cures.
* Air was polluted and the bad air caused the disease. Therefore, carry flowers to prevent it. If someone was infected, doctors would sprinkle flower petals on them in order to clear the air. Some were taken to flower beds for healing or if too ill to go, flowers were brought to them.
* When close to death, the patients would cough up a black phlegm; so, they tried to get patients to cough it up sooner, thinking it would cure them. They would feed them spoons full of ashes so they would cough and sneeze.
* Neither worked and the children came up with this Rhyme:
A pocket full of posies;
We all fall down.
The last two lines:
Hush! Hush! Hush! Hush!
We've all tumbled down
* People are dying (eternally) and do not know the reason or the solution
* You know why and what -- Sin/Knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection
3. Write names of some people you know that are without Christ -- PRAY for ways to get gospel to them
4. Luke 2.8-20
5. Bold Actions around the Shepherds: