Summary: Don’t lose the wonder and awe of Christmas and what it is all about, a celebration of the salvation that has come into the world, Jesus Christ.
(Open with A Charlie Brown Christmas where Linus is reading the account of the birth of Jesus.)
Do you ever feel that we miss what Christmas is all about?
I mean, there are so many things going on during this time of year, it is easy to lose focus and perspective and to miss out on what this is all about.
Now there are many good things that go on from a human perspective.
Families get together
People give gifts to one another
Friends and co-workers gather together at parties
These things are not bad at all. But when so much time is taken with
Pondering what to get
Preparing what to make
Purchasing the things you will give
We tend to lose our sense of Wonder and Awe of why it is we celebrate Christmas.
Christmas is a celebration about Jesus.
It is a celebration of the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
We should be awed at how much God loves us
Have you ever had a human relationship where you were just blown away by a demonstration of how much that person loved you?
O. Henry Story – the Gift of the Magi
There is the story by O. Henry of a husband and wife who are lacking in financial means at Christmas. The two things that are most prized of there earthly possessions are her hair and his gold watch that he had received from his grandfather.
At Christmas, there was not enough money for them to buy presents for one another. So she ended up selling her hair to buy a present for her husband and he sold his watch, the 2 things that had meant the most to them in this earthly realm.
Their love for one another was greater than any sacrifice of material they could make so they did it.
She bought him a beautiful chain to replace the old leather strap that held his magnificent watch.
And he bought her beautiful combs to go into her lovely flowing locks of hair.
There love for one another caused them each to sacrifice the one thing that they held dearest. And they sacrificed so the other might accentuate the one thing they held dearest.
It’s not too often that we experience that type of human to human sacrifice.
A love that is
so extreme, that was
it took your breath away
But we can still experience the wonder and Awe of that type of love for us.
It is that type of love for us that caused the Creator of
Every star in heaven,
Every drop of water in the oceans
Every bird in the sky
Every fish in the ocean
Every animal on the planet
To send His One and Only Son into this world
to be born as a baby,
to grow up and
to suffer as He withstood all temptation to sin, and then
to die a brutal death
so that He might give you the gift of salvation.
We should be Awed by that kind of love.
I want to try and capture that sense of Awe tonight as we look at the Shepherds and what they experienced and how they responded.
Turn with me to
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 of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.