Sermons

Summary: When a life encounters the savior it can never be the same

A Savior to Encounter

Luke 2:8-20

Introduction

I. Different stories of encounters

A. Literature

1. Scrooge: Ebaneezer Scrooge had a Christmas Eve encounter with three spirits of Christmas and he was never the same again

2. It’s A Wonderful Life: George Bailey had an encounter with an angel named Clarence and his life was changed from sheer desperation to delight after the encounter

B. The common thread

1. Both of these situations have one thing in common

a.) George Bailey and Scrooge encountered situations had their lives changed completely

b.) It was the encounter that gave them a change of heart

2. The difference is clear

a.) There is a clear difference between the person before the encounter and after it

b.) The change is permanent

II. Advent is a time for us to encounter our savior

A. There is no way to mistake the joy of Christmas

1. Christmas is a season of joy and expectation

2. There is something about Christmas that touches every heart and every life

B. 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

Body

I. The Routine of the Day

A. The shepherds routine is changed

1. The shepherd were in the fields

a.) The occupation of shepherd

1.) The shepherd was literally a herdsman of sheep

2.) The shepherd was one of the “lowly” positions in Israel and was a common occupation

b.) The location of the shepherds

1.) Temporal location: These shepherds were essentially the night watch for these flocks

2.) Physical location: The sheep were kept outside of the city of Bethlehem for good pasture area

2. The shepherds were with their flocks

a.) The watching of the flocks

1.) This was the night watch

2.) These shepherds lived with the sheep

b.) The simplicity of the duty – Twofold purpose

1.) To provide: This would have been a secure place for the sheep

2.) To protect: These shepherds would have protected the flock against predators or thieves

B. Our routine is challenged

1. Allow God to make your routine days extraordinary

a.) God may not send angels from heaven with a special message for you

b.) God does still speak with us

2. God wants to be a part of your daily life

a.) God’s deepest desire is to have a personal relationship with you. This is the very reason that He sent the savior

b.) God wants you to spend time with Him everyday

II. The Report of the Divine

A. The message of the angel

1. The angel comes

a.) The angel comes with purpose

1.) The Greek word for angel literally means messenger. These supernatural beings are the messengers of God.

2.) 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

b.) The angel comes with power

1.) The “glory of the Lord’ is the splendor or divine radiance of God. This was most likely made manifest by a blinding light

2.) The power of God is revealed with this angel to give credit to the coming message

2. The angelic message does three things

a.) Dispels fear

1.) The shepherds were terrified by the presence of the angel. Could you blame them?

2.) The angel calms their fears immediately with the words “fear not.” There was no reason for them to be afraid

b.) Dispenses good news

1.) The angel promises good news that will bring great joy to the whole world.

2.) The good news is announced

 In 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

c.) Directs the shepherds

1.) The angel gives exact directions to follow

 The baby will be wrapped in cloths. This is normal everyday occurrence and there is nothing special about it

 The baby will be lying in manger. This identifies where the shepherds can and will find the baby. They were to look for the child in a stable

2.) The angel is joined by a large number of angels who give praise to God

B. God wants to make us aware

1. God wants to dispel our fears

a.) Fears about God are created from misconceptions and lies that we buy into

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