Summary: This sermon is to check our Christmas spirit against the spirit of the angelic host as they introduced God Almighty to the world!
Christmas Spirit: The Angelic Host
Luke 2:8-20 (key – 14)
The angels of heaven gave us the first taste of what the Christmas season should be like. What a sight, what sound, what a celebration! I am tremendously jealous of these shepherds, especially being a musician. I don’t know if they sang or shouted or what, but I sure would have liked to be there! I can only imagine what kind of spirit it energized within the hearts of the shepherds! These angels set the tone for what I feel is the true spirit of Christmas.
What type of spirit characterizes you at Christmas time?
o Are you a Scrooge? Poor-mouthing any cheer that comes along?
o Are you the Grinch? Wishing the whole thing would just disappear?
o Or, would you fit in here with the spirit of the angelic crowd?
I like to be happy, don’t you? I like to laugh and enjoy things, don’t you? Well, the Christian should especially be characterized by joy this time of year, right? Let me tell you a little bit of info. I read the other day that made me laugh. Maybe it will help you too!
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.
Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen- had to be a girl.
We should’ve known. Only women, while pregnant, would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.
I want us to see today how the angels described what should be the defining characteristics of Christmas from that first Christmas and forevermore! I also would like to show how what the angels said was directly in line with the prophecy of Zacharias in chapter 1.
Let’s take a look at the key verse here, verse 14
The angels exhibited the true spirit of Christmas as 3 things:
* A spirit of PRAISE
* A spirit of PEACE
* A spirit of PROVIDENCE
Let’s look at the first this Christmas spirit:
I. A Spirit of PRAISE (14a)
• Let’s look at the prophecy in 1:68-69
• Now let’s gather the characteristics of praise in chapter 2
a. Praise is Spontaneous in nature (13)
If we truly know who He is, then we can’t help but shout it out!
b. Praise is Specific in its aim (14)
To the only true God, the immortal, loving Father, should our deepest praise be offered; just as it was by the angels!
PRAISE HIM IN MY HEART
Praise God for Christmas.
Praise Him for the incarnation, for the word made flesh.
I will not sing of shepherds watching flocks on frosty nights,
or angel choristers.
I will not sing of a stable bare in Bethlehem, or lowing oxen,
wise men trailing star with gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Tonight I will sing praise to the Father
who stood on heaven’s threshold and said farewell to his Son
as he stepped across the stars to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
And I will sing praise to the infinite, eternal Son,
who became most finite, a baby
who would one day be executed for my crime.
Praise him in the heavens, Praise him in the stable, Praise him in my heart.
SOURCE: Joseph Bayly.
c. Praise is Spreading the news (17,20)
When we understand the impact of the Baby in the manger, how can we help but to tell other about Him?!!
Now let’s look at the second aspect of the angel’s Christmas spirit:
II. A Spirit of PEACE (14b)
• Let’s look at the prophecy in 1:78-79
• Now let’s see the characteristics of peace in chapter 2
a. Peace is a Person (11)
Christ is peace personified. He is all we need to understand peace. Isaiah 9:6 says of Him that He is the “Prince of Peace”.
Typical of last minute Christmas shoppers, a mother was running furiously from store to store. Suddenly she became aware that the pudgy little hand of her three year old son was no longer clutched in hers. In a panic she retraced her steps and found him standing with his little nose pressed flatly against a frosty window. He was gazing at a manger scene. Hearing his mother’s near hysterical call, he turned and shouted with innocent glee: "look mommy! it’s Jesus - baby Jesus in the hay". With obvious indifference to his joy and wonder, she impatiently jerked him away saying, "we don’t have time for that!" Can’t you see that Mommy’s trying to get ready for Christmas!?!”