Summary: We can learn from the angels about our honor and responsibility as believers.
THE CALL OF CHRISTMAS - PT#1
Lessons from the Angels
* Did you know that Christmas is under attack? It’s subtle in some ways and “in your face” in others. Many retailers have attempted to remove “Christmas” from their advertizing in an effort, so they say, of not offending people. Candidly, as a subscriber to the AFA alert list, I have been kept in the loop about these actions and have personally sent nice but pointed emails to several vendors who have opted for the term ‘Holidays’ instead of “Christmas.” Now, we have seen this effort by secularists before as they have attempted to shorten ‘Christmas” to ‘Xmas.’ And believers responded by the “Keep Christ in Christmas” slogan.
* But how did it come to be that one of the most wonderful, happy, and joyous occasions has been almost hijacked? Has the world become so wicked that this is inevitable or is something more at play? That would be the easy answer, but it is probably not true as wickedness has always been with us. We might find the answer inside the collective body of believers.
* The life of a believer is a life upon which God has placed demands. God sent Jesus into this wicked world that we should be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in this dark world. We are called to make a difference and no other time is this truth more at the forefront than at Christmas time. Ours is a life of calling and when that calling goes largely unanswered, the world gets in trouble. All of “isms” can take over.
* Christmas reminds us of the “calls” we are given. Today, we begin a 3-part series entitled, “The Call of Christmas.” We’ll talk about 3 players in this original Christmas story. Today, let look at Angels.
* Consider this with me, “the most important announcements in all history” God seemed to entrust to angels. When Abraham had Isaac on the altar, it was an Angel of God which spoke to Him and stopped the sacrifice. Moses approached the burning bush in Exodus 3 and it was an “Angel” who spoke. When Lot made the bad decision to reside in Sodom and things got dangerous, it was Angels who came to the rescue and told them to leave. Who was it that gave Gideon the call? It was Angels. And in our text we see it was those same messengers given the honor and responsibility of announcing Jesus’ birth. In fact, that Holy night, there was seemingly a flurry of angelic activity about the birth of Jesus.
* Based on the Angels, we must accept the honor & responsibility for announcing by our lips and lives that this is our Lord Jesus Birthday.
* Let’s learn a few lessons from the angels about our call of Christmas.
1) DISPATCHED FROM HEAVEN
* We have already said and illustrated that all through scripture the Angels are God’s messenger. The list could go on and on. God didn’t (and doesn’t) trust His announcement to just anyone. He only entrust it to those He have faith.
* In the days before electronic communication, a ruler would send someone to deliver a message; he would dispatch someone, or would send. On that first Christmas night, God dispatched the angels with the greatest story ever told.
* Just like the angels, every believer, that would be you & I, have been dispatched with a dispatch. Our message is this; God loved the word so much that He sent Jesus into the world to save the world from their sins. The reason we observe Christmas is because we celebrate the birthday of Jesus.
* One of the ways the Christmas Season gets hijacked is that people have not grasped its full and true meaning. Why? Those who have been dispatched have not conveyed the truth. When we make Christmas only about “family and friends”, it is we as God’s people who have opened the door for secularizing Christmas day. We must never forget that we are sent from Heaven just like the angels.
2) DELIVERED THE MESSAGE
* Consider the “Picture words” which the Angels used, “Good news, Great Joy, Today, Born, Savior, Christ, and for all. Every word carries a wanted and needed message. The Angels left no guess work in their words, they delivered the message clearly.
* Submit one reason our schools, society, and even churches are in such disarray & experiencing moral decay is because the true message remains “largely” undelivered. Here is the rub; “if God’s people don’t deliver the truth, the world will make up their own truth and this is exactly what we are seeing today. More than one God, more than one way, even more than one final destination; all of these are an outgrowth of the real message of.