Summary: 7 Words to remember for Christmas
Luke 2:8-20 [vs. 8-14].
Luke 2:8-9. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
The way many approach Christmas has not changed in years.
ILLUSTRATION: A family during the great depression was unable to afford anything but the bare necessities. One day the news came that a circus was coming to town. Tickets cost one dollar. The little boy came running home excited and eager to get the money from his dad. The father regretfully told his boy that he could not provide him with that much money, but if he went out and worked on odd jobs, he might make enough to purchase a ticket on his own. The dad promised to match what the boy could earn.
The boy worked feverishly and, just a few days before the circus came to town, he found that he had just enough, including his dad’s contribution. He took the money and ran off to town to buy his circus ticket.
The day the circus came to town, he grabbed his ticket and rushed to the main street, where he stood on the curb as the circus parade went by. He was thrilled to watch the clowns, elephants, and all of the performers. A clown came dancing over to him and the boy put his ticket in the clown’s hand. He eagerly watched as the rest of the parade went by.
After the parade, the boy rushed home and told his father that he had been to the circus and how much fun it was. The father, surprised that the boy was home already, asked him to describe the circus. The boy told of the parade that went down the main street and of giving his ticket to the clown. The father sadly took his son in his arms and said, “Son, you didn’t see the circus; all you saw was the parade.”
That boy reminds me of many people at Christmas time. They get caught up with the carols, trees, lights, and gifts. They think that they are experiencing what Christmas is all about. But really, all they’re doing is seeing the parade and missing the main event, the true joy of Christmas.
• We too can read this passage, go through the motions and forget the wonder of Christmas.
• More importantly we go through life thinking everything is good with our souls – we walk like ducks, smell like ducks, quack like ducks but are not ducks...get the picture?
Good time to remember that the first Christmas night: “The glory of the Lord shone around them”
This Christmas let us make it about God’s glory.
Objective: Being confronted by the glory of God to have this uncontainable gratitude that won’t keep quiet, as our spiritual response.
Let’s go through the passage and comb through to learn... We will make pit stops and pickup 7 words to help us take it in.
I. LUKE 2:8. SHEPHERDS
“IN THE SAME REGION THERE WERE SHEPHERDS…”
The greatest event yet on the face of planet earth has just happened in Bethlehem; and we read that in that “same region” there were shepherds.
A. Same region:
i. In the same region: The divine dignitary shares the same space.
I understand the narrative requires this telling but I had to pause to take it in. that’s the first pit stop. Let me explain what caught my attention…”same region”
Illus: Unlike when our hotel in Dubai hosted an exhibition Golf tournament in anticipation to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Tiger Woods was staying at our hotel and in anticipation they emptied the whole floor. The suite next to his was converted into a personal gym for his use. And more importantly, no one was allowed into that floor.
Illus: Or, consider the time when we had a presidential delegation visit us at the hotel I used to work in Mumbai when the not just the floor where they stayed but floors above and below too were vacated and the entrances to those floors boarded up except the one guarded by the black cats.
This ‘divine dignitary’ invited the shepherds to share his space --"in the same region".
ii. In the same region: This was David’s city.
The fields were probably the same area where he kept watch – fought the lion & killed the bear.
Now in this same city is now born another Shepherd like no other. A shepherd who is also a lamb – the Lamb of God. [Jn 1:29; Jn 10:11].
B. The Shepherds:
i. The Status
Shepherds were the lowest on the social ladder.
They lived in the fields and cared for the sheep 24/7 and so couldn’t keep the Mosaic law, the Sabbath and the other ceremonies.