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Summary: Advent series on Joy

Great Joy for all the People

December 14, 2014

Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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 guest room available for them.

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.”

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.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

This 3rd Sunday of Advent, we Celebrate Joy…the Joy that comes from knowing the Savior… Jesus…our Christmas gift. Are you ready to proclaim from the rooftops you’re JOY…. The Joy that knowing Jesus produces in our hearts?

Listen to the words that John Wesley wrote in the 1700’s about his Savior….

Come, thou long expected Jesus….. Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s Strength and Consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art; Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, Born a child and yet a King, Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring. By Thine own eternal Spirit Rule in all our hearts alone; By thine all

For hundreds of years…God’s people have been looking for, preparing for, expecting the promised Messiah…waiting for the promise to be fulfilled.

1. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. v. 9

When you think about this idea of Joy, what do you think of? The angel told the shepherds that he was bringing them some good news…not just any news….but news that will cause “great joy” for all the people.

I see joy on the face of my students when they get that test back and they accomplished what they were hoping for….you can see their joy on their face. I see a lot of despair also when they realize their parents have to sign that test….

Yesterday, as Nola and I were in Branson at Silver Dollar City to watch the huge tree be lit up, it was fun to watch the kids face light up with the Tree….pure Joy watching and taking it all in. One little girl was walking into SDC with her Mom and Dad, she was about 3 years old… She asked her Mom, “Do we get to do all these things?” as she was looking around and seeing Christmas fun everywhere…. And Mom says, “Yes, we get to do all these things…” and the little girl started dancing around in celebration….pure joy.

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