Summary: The Shepherds had a choice to make after receiving the message. What will they do? What will you do?
" SLIDE #1
" Christmas is tomorrow! I am sure most of you are excited for the day to come.
" Many children are excited because they are waiting in anticipation of receiving something they have been hoping to get for a while.
" I remember the excitement I had to go see Santa Claus. Santa was the man who was going to deliver the goods to me.
" I eagerly waited for the arrival of Santa's house on the town square back home in Mexico, MO, because I knew what when Santa's house was set in place, Santa was going to be there!
" The lines were lengthy, but I knew that my time would come when I could ask Santa for what I was wanting for Christmas.
" That time between when I sat on Santa's lap and Christmas seemed like an eternity, but the day finally arrived!
" Today we are going to build on what we have been doing over the past couple of weeks as we now move from the angels telling the shepherds about the coming birth of the Messiah, Jesus, to the angels departing.
" The backdrop to this story is that the nation of Israel had been longing for the coming of the Messiah, and as shared with you a couple of weeks ago, they were probably more eager for the Messiah because they believed He would deliver them from the grip of Rome and set the Nation of Israel on the top of the world.
" Nonetheless, the anticipation for the coming of the Messiah was running high, and now the angels revealed to the shepherds that it was now happening.
" So now what? What do you do if you are the shepherds. They have sheep to watch over and protect.
" What did you do on Christmas morning?
" When I laid out my wish list to Santa, on Christmas eve, I could hardly sleep.
" My parents told me that if I did not go to sleep, Santa would not come, so I forced myself to go to sleep.
" So, what happened on Christmas morning?
" I bolted out of the bedroom to check out the loot!
" Today we are going to see what the shepherds did with the information they were given.
" Let's turn to Luke 2:15-16
" SLIDE #2
" Luke 2:15-16 (CSB) - 15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.
" SLIDE #3
IT began with...
I. Pursuing the king.
" These people of the nation were anticipating the coming to the Messiah. After the decades of being under the rule or Rome, they the people were longing for the day when that would end.
" Imagine walking down the streets of Sierra Vista ad instead of seeing our brave soldiers, you would see a foreign invading force patrolling the streets.
" That would not be an encouraging sight to see.
" The shepherds had been given a great gift, now what?
" When you eagerly anticipated your gift, what did you do?
" Verse 15 tells us what these shepherds did.
" As a side note, shepherds were not the group one would think God would announce the coming of the Messiah, they were some of the lowest people on the totem pole.
" WHEN THE the angels had left them.
" That is always the critical time. What the shepherds should do had been clearly implied. Will they do it?
" The minister has delivered his sermon. Will the listeners (including himself) take it to heart?
" The doctor has prescribed medication. Will the patient follow his prescription?
" The shepherds could have said, wow, that is nice, great message angels, ok, time to get back to work.
" When you are looking for something in life how what do you do?
" Are you the type that thinks, HOW NICE, then just goes on with life, only to later lament the fact that you did not go for it?
" It amazes me how many people are really searching in life, they are searching for meaning and purpose.
" They are searching for something more than what life is currently offering them.
" The shepherds were given a great opportunity what will they do with it?
" They decided to leave the sheep and go to Bethlehem.
" The Greek indicates that these men repeatedly said to one another that they needed to go to Bethlehem.
" These men found a way to take of the sheep and decided to go search.