Summary: Signs are given to motivate a response, so what response comes from the sign of Christ?
I. Signs of the Season!!
II. A Salvation Army women was doing what Salvation Army people do this time of year, she was ringing her bell and collecting money for the needy.
A. Shortly she was informed by a policeman that a local ordinance prevented her from ringing her bell.
1. She was apologetic about having broken the law, and she packed up her bell and left for the day.
2. The next day she was back and collecting more money that she had the day before, AND she was not breaking any law.
3. Rather than ringing her bell, she now waved a sign in each hand.
a. One sign read “ding”
b. The other read “dong”
III. For the past month or so, there have been all kinds of signs that remind us that this is the Christmas season.
A. There are Christmas lights on houses and stores,
B. There are blow-up reindeer, Santas, and snow globes, and all manner of decorations that mark the season.
1. There is a home in my neighborhood that has so many decorations in the front yard, that you couldn’t possibly walk through it without breaking something.
2. I bet they have a couple thousand dollars in decorations in their yard; to mark the season.
C. The seasonal departments of the stores have Christmas trees, wreaths, tinsel, and all things Christmas,
D. And the Bucks County Courier Times is making is annual “Holiday” fund drive.
IV. All kinds of signs tell us it’s Christmas, which means it is time to drink Egg Nog and max out our credit cards.
V. I wonder what God thinks about our signs that proclaim this season as the birth of Jesus Christ?
A. When I read the passage of scripture earlier, you may have missed it, but that passage said that God sent a “sign” to proclaim the birth of the savior.
VI. Luke chapter 2, verse 12 read, “And this will be a sign for you, you will find a baby, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
A. And we all go, “Oh, what a terrible way for a baby to come into the world.”
B. By our standards, I supposed that was a pretty terrible way for any child to enter the world, BUT, do you realize that it probably wasn’t all that terribly unusual for the 1st century.
1. Baby’s were typically wrapped in cloths when they were born, now we just call them baby blankets, so we can charge more money for them.
2. And the stable was often attached to the home, so it is quite possible that even the manger was not really that strange.
C. What does your mind see when you read the word “sign”
1. Maybe a street sign, that tells you the direction to go; turn left, go right, STOP.
2. Maybe a marker, that says you have reached a certain destination, “Walmart” or “Target” or such.
3. Maybe an item that signifies something deeper, like a wedding ring is typically a sign that a person is married.
VII. In the Greek language, that word “Sign” is also translated as
B. “Wonder” and
1. You see, I believe that seeing a baby “wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger” was not really the sign that this was Christ,
2. I believe seeing “God, come as an ordinary child, lying in a manger” was a sign that something great had finally come, for salvation had taken on flesh, and was in our midst.
VIII. A universal truth about signs is that their purpose is to motivate us to some kind of action.
A. A street sign tells us to turn, stop or go; and if you don’t a ticket may follow.
B. The sign that says Salvation Army, especially when coupled with the ringing of bells is to motivate us to give.
C. The sign that says Newtown Community Church, soon to say, The Connection is to motivate people to worship.
D. Like all signs, the signs of Luke chapter 2 serve the purpose of motivating people to some kind of action.
IX. The first response to this sign moved the shepherds to inquire.
Moved to Inquire (vs. 9-16) 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” 15 And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.