Summary: What was it about the shepherds that inspired God to reveal the wondrous birth of His Son to them over all the others? As I looked into this question, I discovered what I believe is the 5-fold Process that God uses to reveal Christ to us… if we’re open t
A Wild Story
Series: Beginnings of a Legacy
December 27, 2009
I want to start out this morning by having you watch this video clip, and then I want you to tell me what you see…
Show video clip of violin player…
Ok… tell me what you saw… (response from congregation)
Well, let me fill you in on the rest of the story… The violinist in the corner is Joshua Bell. On January 12 of 2007 he showed up in a long sleeve T-shirt and jeans at the DC metro train station. He took out his violin from it’s case. placed the open case at his feet for donations, and for the next 45 minutes began to play Mozart and Schubert. Over 1,000 people streamed by, most of them hardly taking notice. Now… If they’d been paying attention, they might have recognized that Joshua was actually a world-renowned violinist, and the violin he was playing was a rare Stradivarius worth over $3 million!
Just 3 days earlier, he’d sold out Boston Symphony Hall, with seats going for $100 and up. In case you’re wondering …in the subway that day, Bell collected about $32 from the 27 people who stopped long enough to give a donation.
I don’t know what your Christmas season has been like, but for most people it can be a very hectic, exhausting... even frustrating time of year.
As you’re standing there in another line waiting for the 10 people in front of you to pull out their credit cards… have you ever asked yourself…”Why am I doing this? I mean, if this is supposed to be a time of “peace on earth, good will towards men”… why do I feel like beating up that guy in front of me?”
All this week people were frantically trying to get flights, or drive long distances in order to make it home for Christmas…because nobody wants to miss Christmas. But did you know that even if you make it home or arrive safely at your destination… it’s entirely possible to miss Christmas? That video is a modern day parable of the Christmas story. Even the violinists 1st name is “Joshua” which is translated “Jesus” in the Greek. We’re just like the people in the the DC Metro…we’re moving through life so quickly, so fast… that many times we miss the most important things in life. God is here, God is working… but we don’t always see Him. Why not? Because we’re not really looking!!!
In fact, if you think about it, there were some people at the very 1st Christmas who totally missed it! Even though it was right under their noses! In some cases, right out their back door! Take the innkeeper for instance…He missed Christmas because he was too busy! Herod the king missed it because he was too afraid. Afraid somebody might take over his throne. And what about the religious leaders? They missed that 1st Christmas because they were indifferent! For 1000’s of years they’d had the scriptures telling all about the coming Messiah, but when He shows up, they don’t even have enough curiosity to check it out.
They had their traditions, their religion and their positions and they didn’t really want to be bothered. They were totally apathetic to the birth of Christ. What’s amazing is that those are the same reasons people miss Christmas today! Christmas is the busiest time of the year… and so like the innkeeper, people are too occupied with family and shopping to think about God. They put a ‘No Vacancy’ sign over their heart, because they have other priorities. Worship takes 2nd place to everything else.
• OR…like Herod they’re afraid! They’re afraid that if they acknowledge Jesus Christ as “Lord”, they might lose their throne. THEY want to be in control and don’t want to give that to someone else!
• OR… they’re indifferent! They’ve heard it all before…“I know, Jesus Christ, Son of God… born in a manger… the virgin thing… yada, yada! Big whoopee! Done it, seen the movie!”
As a result … a lot of people end up totally missing Christ at Christmas! But there were some guys on that 1st Christmas who didn’t miss it! The Shepherds. And this morning I want to explore a little more in detail, why the Shepherds of all people didn’t miss Christmas. I mean, what was it about these guys that inspired God to reveal the wondrous birth of His Son to them… over all the others? As I looked into this question, I discovered what I believe is the 5-fold Process that God uses to reveal Christ to us… if we’re open to it…
The 1st step in this process is to …
1. PERCEIVE Christ
Read Luke 2:8-14 (NLT)
Imagine if you were a modern public relations agent in charge of getting the news of Christ’s birth out to the world. The absolute last group you’d pick for the job, would be the small band of shepherds watching their sheep in the fields around Bethlehem that night. Instead you would have targeted the influencers, the real movers and shakers of society. Someone like the high priest for instance. He was the religious leader of the nation. Or you might have gone to the chief priest and scribes, after-all, they were the leading teachers in Israel. Or how about the Sanhedrin? the 70 elders that acted kind of like our congress. At the least, you would have sent an official press release to Caesar Augustus to make sure he knew the true Savior had recently come into the world.