Summary: The shepherds were the first to experience the power of the birth of Christ
A Savior is Born
A striking Christmas card was once published with the title "If Christ Had Not Come". It was founded upon our Savior’s words "If I had not come." The card represented a pastor’s falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.
In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out to the street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared.
The doorbell rang and a messenger asked the preacher to visit his poor, dying mother. He hastened with the weeping child, and as he reached the home he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended with Malachi. There was no Gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.
Two days later he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service. There was no message of consolation, no hope of heaven.
Advent is a time for us to celebrate our savior
There is no way to mistake the joy of Christmas
Christmas is a season of joy and expectation. There is something about Christmas that touches every heart and every life
Let’s take some time to look at the story of those who first encountered Christ
Thesis: A life touched by an encounter with the Savior can never be the same
I. The shepherds Day
A. The shepherds routine is changed
1. The shepherds were in the fields
The occupation of shepherd: The shepherd was literally a herdsman of sheep. The shepherd was one of the “lowly” positions in Israel and was a common occupation
The location of the shepherds: Temporal location: These shepherds were essentially the night watch for these flocks and this would likely be sometime during the Judean springtime. Physical location: The sheep were kept outside of the city of Bethlehem for good pasture area and were likely to be within a few miles of the city.
2. The shepherds were with their flocks
This was the night watch and these shepherds were guarding the sheep against predators. These shepherds lived with the sheep out in the fields.
The Twofold purpose of the watch. The first was to provide by giving a secure place for the sheep. The second was to protect because shepherds would have protected the flock against predators or thieves
B. Our “normal” is challenged
1. Allow God to make your routine days extraordinary
God may not send angels from heaven with a special message for you God does still speak with us
2. God wants to be a part of your daily life
God’s deepest desire is to have a personal relationship with you. This is the very reason that He sent the savior. God wants you to spend time with Him everyday
II. The Visit to the Shepherds
A. The message of the angel
1. The angel comes
The angel comes with a purpose. The Greek word for angel literally means messenger. These supernatural beings are the messengers of God. This angel is referred to as “the angel of the Lord.” This is the same designation given through the entire birth narrative and in Luke 1:19 the angel is identified as Gabriel
The angel comes with power
The “glory of the Lord’ is the splendor or divine radiance of God. This was most likely made manifest by a blinding light The power of God is revealed with this angel to give credit to the coming message
2. The angelic message does three things
First the angel dispels fear. The shepherds were terrified by the presence of the angel. Could you blame them? The angel calms their fears immediately with the words “fear not.” There was no reason for them to be afraid
Second, the angel dispenses good news. The angel promises good news that will bring great joy to the whole world. The good news is announced. In the city of Bethlehem there has been an amazing birth This child will be a savior. This means one who will deliver This child will be the Christ. This is the Greek equivalent to Messiah This child will be the Lord. This word was used exclusively in reference to God the Father The essence of the message is that a savior has been born who is the awaited messiah and the embodiment of God. What an amazing and accurate picture of Jesus