Summary: What better time than Christmas to rejoice and proclaim what God has done? The shepherds saw and went ... so what are you and I waiting for? Can't we tell others what we've seen as well?
The shepherds (we) are invited to go
- Advent is a wonderful time of year for all Christians to celebrate
-- However, there is something that gets lost in the hustle/bustle of the holiday
-- APP: It is the love we should show others for the God that we serve every day
- “advent” means: an appearance or an occurrence of something; a revealing
- “invitation” means: the action of inviting someone to go or to do something
- As we finish exploring Advent, keep in mind this common idea:
-- Before someone can do something … an invitation is always required
- Today’s message is titled, “The shepherds (we) are invited to go”
- Read Luke 2:1-15 / Pray
∆ Point 1 – The Angels Appear (v8-10)
- Joseph was living in Nazareth at the time, with a pregnant Mary
-- Originally from Bethlehem, he took his family to complete the census
- In about 750 B.C, a prophet named Micah proclaimed in Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
- Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth but had to go home for a census
-- CONSIDER: Did you know that God used Caesar to fulfill His prophecy?
-- Caesar caused the census to be done; but God already directed the events!
- This leads us to the place in our story when our Savior is born into the world
- In a manger, in a place where animals ate, our Lord was laid to rest
-- In my mind I’ve always imagined that the animals were in awe
-- And … why not? Why would they not be rejoicing?
- APP: Jesus taught later in Luke 19:40 about worship in the presence of the Messiah – he said (when the Pharisees asked Him to silence the disciples), “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
-- DEEPER: So, what about us? Will we shout for joy that He has been born?
-- Will we rejoice with the angels and PROCLAIM the GLORY given to us?
- Notice, that the announcement of His arrival was not on CNN, Fox, MSNBC
-- God sent an angel to proclaim to societies lowest … men living in fields!
- Re-read verse 8-10
- These men, who lived amongst the animals in the fields, got incredible news
-- These men were tending the animals, probably very cold from the elements
-- Maybe hopeless & without a future, are given the greatest news ever!!
-- The Invitation: They hear the Gospel preached first from Heaven’s choir
- And what are they told in response? “DO NOT BE AFRAID!!”
-- APP: Church, if God’s angels told them to not be afraid, how can we be afraid?
- (LOOK AT ME): How can we be ashamed, afraid, worried, or anything about proclaiming the Gospel to a world desperately in need?
-- This invitation causes them to move; to WANT to go and see this event
- TRANS: Look at the impact of this GLORIOUS announcement that was made
∆ Point 2 – A Glorious Announcement
- As the angel is proclaiming that the Savior has been born, look what happens …
-- Suddenly, out of nowhere … ALL OF HEAVEN JOINS IN!!
- v13-14, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
- IMP: Do you know why the angels & all of Heaven praise Him in this manner?
- Here it is: BECAUSE HE IS GOD; Immanuel, literally – God with us
- APP: It is the understanding of God’s glory by all of creation that cries out
- APP: The angels could no longer be silent when the Good News was proclaimed
- Did you know that God has called us to worship Him in the same manner?
-- We are invited to be a part of something much larger than our day to day lives
-- We’ve been given an entire mission field to proclaim the gift of our Lord
- Challenge: But, what did you celebrate this week?
-- Was it the latest technology gift or the arrival of the greatest gift of all?
- If the angels proclaimed in v14 the praise of God, so why shouldn’t we?
- TRANS: So, right now in this place, where does this leave us?
∆ Point 3 – Will We Seek Him, Too?
- Re-read verse 15
- These men, these shepherds in the fields, needed NO additional convincing