Sermons

Summary: In this world were we see such an abundance of well-publicised bad news. It’s refreshing to renew our interest in this ancient proclamation of Good News Do not be afraid Good news Great Joy For All Nations A Child is Born Glory to God Peace on earth

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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 that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, 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 heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

News. It is supposed to refer to what is happening in all directions

North

East

West

South

But I think we as humans seem to gravitate toward the bad news.

The Newspaper- I often see people, especially in the morning, reading a newspaper. I’ve asked many times “any good news”? I have yet to have someone answer me “Yes! Lots of good news!”. They always say something like, “Nope. All bad”.

So I wonder, why does anyone want to read the newspaper? Maybe it’s our human attraction to bad news more than to good.

A doctor told a man ‘I have bad news. You have cancer and your have Alzheimer’s”. The man said, “Well, at least I don’t have cancer”.

A doctor came to a patient & said, “I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is you have 24 hours to live”. The patient said ‘what’s the bad news?’ The doctor said, “I forgot to tell you yesterday”.

-Even our jokes seem to reveal this tendency we have toward bad news.

I’d like to focus on this message of Good News from the angels. They gave a 7-point, positive message.

The Message

a. Do not be afraid

b. Good News

c. Great Joy

d. For All People

e. A Savior, Messiah, the Lord is born in the town of David

f. Glory to God in the highest

g. Peace on earth, good will to men (or to men of good will)

The angels gave a 7-point message.

Point 1

1. Do Not Be Afraid

About 100 times the Bible teaches, “do not fear”, or “fear not”. The first is God speaking to Abraham “do not be afraid. I am your Shield and your very great Reward” (Genesis 15:1). Another 100 or so times people in the Bible talk about fear and how it can be avoided, like Psalm 23, “Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me . . .” Another collection encourage us to fear-to fear God, like Psalm 112:1 Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who takes great delight in His commands”.

Someone said if you fear God you would not fear man.

As John said “he who fears has not been made perfect in love, perfect love casts out fear, for fear has torment.”

It seems to me, this message is just as relevant today as it was when the shepherds heard it over 2000 years ago.

2. I bring you GOOD NEWS

You may have heard that this week Facebook released their list of the top search topics for 2015.

1. The US Presidential Election

2. November 13 Paris attacks

3. Syrian War & Refugee Crisis

4. Nepal Earthquakes

5. Greek Debt Crisis

6. Same-sex marriage

7. The fight against ISIS

8. Charlie Hebdo attack

9. Baltimore protests against police violence

10. Charleston Shooting & flag debate

How much of this is good news?

We seem to have a bad-news bias by nature.

There is actually quite a lot of good news in the world. A smaller percentage of the world population is malnourished than ever before, more are being educated than ever in human history, we have conquered diseases like smallpox and almost eradicated whooping cough and polio. These were common when I was a child, but are so uncommon now that many of you may have never heard of some of these diseases. Population growth has leveled out in most of the world, and since urbanization and education are the two most important factors in limiting the number of children per household the total world population is expected to level out at about 10-11 billion-a manageable number. So, there is a lot of good news. But we seem to want to focus on the bad news.

Last night we had a concert. As the choir entered, the line broke as the performers reached the stage, with each person going to a different part of the stage-it seemed chaotic-unplanned. I started taking notes, and continued taking notes of all the things that could have been improved in the evening program.

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