Summary: We need to connect with those that are overlooked.
TOUCH THE FORGOTTEN
S: Honor the Overlooked
Th: The Christmas Touch
Pr: WE NEED TO CONNECT WITH THOSE THAT ARE OVERLOOKED.
TS: We will find in the story found in Luke 2:8-20 three stages that encourage us to connect with the overlooked.
The _____ stage is…
I. DERISION (8)
II. DECLARATION (9-14)
III. DEVOTION (15-20)
RMBC 09 December 01 AM
1. Have you ever forgotten something that is important?
ILL Notebook: Forget (how’s Dad?)
There’s a story about a young woman who went away to college in the fall, leaving her plants and her goldfish in the care of her mother, who had a tendency to be forgetful. Some of us may know somebody with a "brown thumb." This mother had one. The plants that the daughter left behind in the care of her mother died at the end of the month. The mother dutifully broke the bad news to her. When the young woman called a week later, her mother confessed that the goldfish had died too.
There was a long pause, then in a fearful voice the girl asked, "How’s Dad?"
As we come into the Christmas season, it is easy to forget what is important…like feeding Dad.
Seriously though, we easily get our priorities mixed up.
And the true meaning of Christmas gets lost.
We begin to think it is about presents, decorations and parties.
But the truth is…
2. The true meaning of Christmas is not found in the wrappings, but in the gift (Luke 2:8-20).
You know who helps us with getting the true meaning of Christmas correct?
It is Charles Schulz’ “Charlie Brown Christmas.”
In this Christmas program that is broadcast faithfully every year, Charlie Brown picks out a lonely tree with only a few branches as a tree for the gang’s Christmas program.
When he brings the tree back, everyone mocks him for picking such a lousy tree (it bends over; the needles keep falling off), which makes Charlie Brown all the more depressed.
And in despair, he tells us that he doesn’t know what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.
It is then, his friend Linus informs us all.
He says something like this:
(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.
And this, folks, is what it is about.
It is about the gift.
It is about God with us.
It is about God coming to touch us.
It is the Christmas touch.
3. Using Luke 2:8-20, let’s examine three stages that describe the shepherd’s role in the Christmas story.
I. The first stage is DERISION (8).
1. There was a fellowship of the forgettable.
More appropriately, they were the marginalized forgotten.
They had no status in their culture.
They were uneducated, smelled lousy, and were considered low-class.
They were called shepherds.
During Jesus’ time, being a shepherd was a dead-end job.
There was no hope for advancement.
They had little chance of doing anything different the rest of their life.
As a result, you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry one.
You would want your daughter to marry better.
2. There (these) were people that were considered outcasts and misfits.
Shepherds had a hard, thankless job.
And it was dangerous.