Summary: The Advent of Christ
Luke 2:8-14, Dec. 2, 2012
I wonder what Christmas means to a mother who has lost her husband or a man who has lost his wife and his children’s mother. Now a single mother or father who has the responsibility of not only making a living but also the care of small children and never getting everything done, what does Christmas mean to this person?
What does it mean to the little street children in Korea, dirty, bedraggled, hungry, and yet they look with wonder when you pass by. What does it mean to them?
Did you know that the streets of Korea are filled with little children who are born of American service men and Korean girls and nobody accepts them. Our daughter, Carol adopted one of them and he has been the delight of our hearts and now we have a great grandbaby who fills our hearts with joy.
I wonder what it means to our missionaries who are half a world away from families and friends, who are sacrificing so much to take the precious gospel to others who have never heard? What does it mean to them?
Oh, Christmas means different things to different people.
To the Merchants it is the busiest time of the year. Stores hire extra people to take care of all the shoppers. It means more profit, hopefully enough to see them through leaner times ahead.
To some it means a Christmas bonus or a time for parties. For children it is a time of impatience as the days to Christmas take forever to pass. I wonder some time if I ever felt that way and I know that I did, but now time just seems to flit away.
Let me tell you a little story!
Sometimes I get the feeling that we are like the folks who decided to throw a party to honor a very special person. They sent out invitations, decorated the hall, and had the food catered. All the people came together as the designated time, but to their surprise, the guest of honor was not there.
Finally, they discovered that no one had invited the guest of honor.
Please Lord, don’t let us be like that, with all our decorations and doing, please Lord, don’t let us leave you out.
READ LUKE 2:8-2:14
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.”
Where we have thought of it or not, all heaven was preparing for a grand party. Heaven was on tiptoe, a baby was going to be born, the Savior of the world, and his name would be Jesus.
The fact that God made the announcement to shepherds helps us to understand the real meaning of Christmas:
“God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” and He choose to announce His birth first of all to the shepherds.
Shepherds were on the opposite ends of the social strata from King Herod and all the influential people of that day. They lived in the fields with their animals. They had no social status, they had no respect, they had no power or prestige. Yet, God’s angel came to them and said, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ, the Lord.”
Unto the shepherds a Savior was born.
In that one simple announcement the dimensions of God’s great love was revealed to us. It was love divine!
First of all, it tells us, “No matter how insignificant you may think you are, God knows you, & you are important.
All through the scripture we see God honoring and using people and things that the world often overlooks or ignores.
The Apostle Paul writes, “Brothers think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth, But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things....” I Cor. 1:26-28a
A Jewish youth was sold into slavery by his brothers & carted off to Egypt. Yet, when God wanted to deliver a very special message to the might Pharaoh, it was the