Summary: What can we learn from the shepherds about responding to God’s call at Christmas?
THE CALL OF CHRISTMAS – PT 2
* What do you think of when you hear these words “THE DRAFT?” Some think of the draft which takes place every year in sports as college athletes are “drafted” into the pros. Think about it; these top level athletes don’t particularly get to decide “where” they play, they are drafted. In this same line of thinking, when we hear the word “draft”, many of us will think of the “Selective Service”, which calls young men to serve their country. Again, when drafted—they do not get a huge choice about where to go and what to do, they are drafted into service.
* As we have read our scripture today, we have certainly discovered a group of people with a divine call on their lives. The call of the shepherds was a call to take action. It was a special call, a specific call, and a strong call.
* When I think of the word call, I think of a phone call. The telephone has come a long way just in my lifetime. I remember “party lines.” My grandparents as well as my aunts and uncles were on the party line with 7 or 8 people and you could identify your call with a distinct ring.
* The COC to the shepherds is a model for the call which is placed on each one of us. It has its own unique call as well as the expected response. The call of Christmas is indeed powerful call. Last week, we learned lessons from the angels; they were dispatched from heaven, delivered the message, directed the attention, declared the praise and they displayed the glory, that is, the GLORY OF GOD. This week, let’s learn some lessons from the “Shepherds.”
* Consider this question; Out of all the possibilities in the world “why did God choose Shepherds?”/ Could it be the symbolism already communicated in psalms with respect to the “shepherd-sheep” comparison? Why did God choose the very people who were considered the lowest form of life to announce Jesus’ birthday? They were dirty, nasty, and possibly unreliable. So, why them?
* Hold on to this question & let’s see what they did when given the greatest message in the world. Then perhaps we will understand why God (as always) knows best. Consider their 3 responses.
1) THEY WENT
* These shepherds heard the announcement, received the message, & took action. They simply said, “LET’S GO.”
* There was little discussion. There wasn’t time to “think”, “pray”, or appoint a “committee.” This is one of the most important lessons we can learn from the shepherds. When we hear God’s call, it is not time to procrastinate, it is a time to simply ACT.
* Nothing kills the life of a believer & the body like procrastination. You know what procrastination is. It is that attitude which says “never do today, what can be put off until tomorrow.” A certain man was driving down a bumpy country road when he spotted a bag of cement that had apparently fallen out of the back of a truck. Not wishing to see a perfectly good bag of cement go to waste, he stopped to pick it up believing he could get some use out of it. But when he reached down to pick up the bag, it was surprisingly heavier than he expected due to the fact that it had solidified into an immovable piece of cement. The bag of cement was created to be used for a specific purpose, but because it never reached its intended destination, it became a useless rock.
* Here is a sad memory. The first 10 years in ministry, I became very skeptical of calling the church to pray about some kind of project. Why? It appears this was used as a ploy to stop an action. Why do say this? Because during that time, we never came back and revisited any project we were praying about.
* Prayer should be a part of our daily lives. We should be seeking a fresh touch from and then when we receive it, just like the shepherds we should respond and respond completely!!
* Look and learn how serious they “went,” broke their routine, altered schedule, and made arrangements to go. They went.
* What if when they were told to “GO”, they had procrastinated, appointed a committed, and called a business meeting? They would have missed his birthday, missed the Savior, & missed Jesus.
* Our call is like their call to go. We don’t retire or get tired of it.
2) THEY WORSHIPPED
* Let’s combine verses 16 & 20. At the call they went, found, and then RETURNED. On the return trip they were, “Glorifying & Praising.” It sounds to me like they were worshipping and praising! It never ceases to be amazing as to the number of people who have been change by the power of God and have little or no desire to offer Him praise. We should be a praising and worshipping people. The Angels did it, the Shepherds did it, and if we don’t do it (according to Jesus) the rocks will do it.