Summary: This sermon looks at the shepherds of Christmas - it has four points. 1. PERCEIVE Christ 2. PURSUE Christ 3. PROCLAIM Christ 4. PRAISE Christ
A Crazy Story
Let me tell you a crazy story. It happened on January 12th, 2007. That is the day when a young man by the name of Joshua Bell entered a subway station in Washington, DC. He was dressed in a long sleeve T-shirt and jeans. He found a nice place and took out his violin from its case. Then he placed the case on the ground in front of him – that way whoever was passing by could throw donations in it if they wished. For the next 45 minutes Joshua played on his violin. Over 1,000 people passed by that day as he played – most of them did not pay any attention to him at all. Most of them were too busy going here and there to even notice him. After he finished playing Joshua had collected about $32 from the 27 people who had stopped long enough to give a donation. Not too bad for 45 minutes of work right?
But let me tell you the rest of the story.
Joshua Bell is actually a world remounted violinist. Just three days earlier he played to a sold out audience at Boston Symphony Hall. The price of the tickets started at $100 each. The violin that he used in the subway was a rare Stradivarius worth over three million dollars. But most people did not even notice him. Most of them were too busy going here and there to notice.
I don’t know what your Christmas season has been like up to this point, but for most people it can be crazy, it can be hectic, it can be exhausting and it can be frustrating. As a result we can go through the Christmas season and totally miss the reason for the season. You see Christmas is about Christ. It always has been about Christ. It always will be about Christ. Let’s read our text for this morning:
“And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. "And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that 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." And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. And when they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.”
Luke 2:8-18 (NASB)
This morning I would like us to talk about the Shepherds. You see they didn’t miss the message of Christmas at all. That is because they did four things – they perceived Christ – they perused Christ – they proclaimed Christ and the praised Christ. If we truly want to have a joyful Christmas – a meaningful Christmas – a Christ filled Christmas – perhaps we too need to do these four things. We need to:
1. PERCEIVE Christ
Let me ask you – if you were in charge of getting some important news out to the community – how would you do it? Who would you go to? You could let all the churches in the community know about it – they could announce it on Sunday morning – but what if you needed to get the word out before Sunday – and to tell you the truth – there aren’t huge crowds in most churches now a-days. Or you could go to the local coffee meeting places – every town has them you know. It’s the place where the men (and sometimes ladies) go to share the latest scuttlebutt. I’ve been to a few of those places and at those places you can discuss everything and anything. Sometimes there you can hear some tall tales – but other times you hear what going on in the community. Yep – that may be a good place to start.