Summary: God invites the shepherds and not the town to come and see the new king.
Do you see what I see?
Most of you will recall that during the last few weeks, we are looking at Christmas perspectives of some of the Biblical characters. Let me state that a Christmas perspective for most of our culture is something that awakens for only a month or two each year. However, for Christians, it is something that we will use all year long.
So the goal of using the views of the biblical characters and seeing events through their eyes, their views, their fears and emotions is to help us to break away from some of the views of our culture.
All this is to help us to hear the Christmas story, that we know so well, in a way that will help to give it new life, and to reawaken the wonder and meaning of the event in our lives today.
We have looked through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. And how people have normal expectations about life and in their situations. We noticed how God, changed their direction and in a way unsettled everything that seemed certain about life. He even changed how this young couple would respond to the way people would look down their noses at them over their poor judgment and choices.
Then we looked at two sisters Martha and Mary. The perspective that was important last week was God’s view of how they and we celebrate the coming of the king into our homes and world. And we attempted to adapt our perspective of what is really important in this season. What is most important and pleasing to God as we celebrate Jesus Birth and our families.
This series of sermons is meant to help us to notice how our personal perspectives have been influenced by our culture. Without even noticing, we see events and circumstances through filters that we never even knew were there. That affects how we judge situations, and ultimately control how we will respond to or ignore what we see.
A pastor was visiting one of his parishioners, and as they were talking the conversation began to lag. The lady of the house, not wanting too much silence, pointed out her window to her neighbor’s yard where the wash was hanging on the line. She said: "See that lady next door and the wash she hangs out, see how dirty it is, she never hangs out a clean wash!" The pastor felt somewhat uncomfortable and tried to change the subject and quickly drew the visit to a close. As he was departing from the house the lady of the house walked out on the front porch with him and again the wash next door was clearly visible to them. They both realized at the same time that this wash was sparkling white, just as white as any wash could ever be. The truth began to dawn on them that it was not the neighbor’s wash which was dirty, rather it was the window through which they viewed the wash.
Perspective is how we see things. It is the window that we use to view everything we experience.
Let’s read our scripture this morning:
Luke 2:1-6 - 7-20 (NKJV)
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“ Glory to God in the highest,