Summary: The hope that came to man on Christmas.
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Well what a joy is it to celebrate yet another Christmas. It reminds of God’s faithfulness upon us year after year. Maybe some of you are having a great time this season. Maybe you are going through tough times –Times of uncertainties, challenges, and facing and setback in life. I want to tell you no matter what your condition – there is a reason to celebrate because Christ in us is the hope of glory.
Brief Background of Jesus’ Birth: Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem for the first census ordered by Caesar Augustus. Several months prior Mary had conceived in the Holy Spirit the Son of God, and is now advanced in days. While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room available for them.
It was a beautiful, probably a dark night in Bethlehem. There were shepherds watching their flock at night. As you look up from the shepherd’s fields you could see the sky silhouetted against the darkness of the night. The sheep, all gathered together for the night, are being guarded by the shepherds. As the custom of the day was, some of the shepherds were probably sleeping while others were taking the watch during different portions of the night.
As the shepherds were in the field keeping watch over their flocks at night, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared and the glory of the Lord shone about them. The darkness was split by this radiance of the glory of God. The shepherds were startled and were very afraid.
I can imagine their fear as their night was broken by this sudden appearance of this mighty angel. I think we would have been startled and astonished had we been there on that night. This angel of the Lord came and said to them, “Fear not, don’t be afraid.”
Luke 2:10-12 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Then the Bible tells us that suddenly there was with this angle a multitude of the heavenly hosts. Luke 2:13-14 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
I do not know how many angels appeared there, but in my thinking I really see the sky filled with angels from horizon-to-horizon. Hebrews 1:6 When God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” The whole sky was filled with angels.
Some of them could have still been in their heavenly abode but in my eyes I see those angels filling the whole earth. The Book of Revelation tells us the number of God’s angels: Revelation 5:11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousands times ten thousand.
You cannot multiply that out. You cannot multiple 10000 x10000 then in addition there are many more. So it is a 100 million plus thousands times thousands. At the birth of Jesus, suddenly the sky is filled from horizon-to-horizon with these wonderful angels praising God and saying: Luke 2:13 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
Luke 2:15-18 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
The message of the angels to the shepherds is the message of Christmas and in it we find the message of hope for all mankind.
The message of HOPE.
1. You are important to God.
The first announcement of Jesus’ birth went to some shepherds. The only invitation from God to anyone to come and visit Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus was to a group of shepherds.
God loves you and cares for you. No matter how insignificant I may think I am, God knows me, God cares for me, and so I am important to Him."