Summary: Shepards receive an invitation to the birth of Christ, They are expected to respond and tell others.
Acknowledgement – I found great value in a Christmas Sermon series by Darren Ethier – A fellow contributor to this site. His sermons are called “Christmas Perspectives Series.”
Do you see what I see?
If you will recall last week, we are looking at the perspectives of witnesses to the birth of Jesus. We are trying to see what they saw through their eyes, their views and even their fears and emotions. All this is to help us to see for ourselves the story that we hear every year to give it new life, to reawaken the wonder and meaning of the event.
Last week we looked through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. The perspective of the day would have been very embarrassing and even shameful. Their perspective seems to have been unusual for their day. My guess was it had something to do with the angels. When you receive a messenger from God, no matter what the form, it helps change the normal perspective. It is still pretty surprising to me how they could keep the focus when things got so hard. The trip - the stable.
Part of their message was that they had a special mission. They were helping to bring God’s son into the world. The messiah was almost there. God with Us. Immanuel. That was and is a pretty big concept.
You may also remember from last week we considered how our personal perspective influences how we see events and circumstances and even influences our actions.
From a father’s letter to a son in college: "Am enclosing $10 as you requested in your letter. Incidentally, $10 is spelled with one zero, not two." Often we have different perspectives with people, what we will do if asked differs with our point of view.
A pastor was visiting one of his parishioners, and as they were talking the conversation began to lag. The lady of the house, wanting to pick up the conversation, pointed out her window to her neighbor’s back 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 which is filtered through or experiences, ideas and our personal windows.
As we begin this morning’s message ask yourself this question – has your perspective of the Christmas story been polluted by a world that does not fully understand the reason for the season?
Luke 2:7-20 (NIV)
7 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 for them in the inn. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15 When 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." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.