Summary: Focuses on the Shepherds and how to unwrap the gift of God’s love
Unwrapping the gift of God’s Love
God’s Love should be unwrapped by All People (Luke 2:10)
God’s Love is unwrapped by Abiding in the Son (John 15:9-10)
Here we are at Christmas Eve.
By this point, all the gifts should be wrapped and under the tree.
You will have already thought about each person that you were going to give a gift to and what it is that would be that special something.
And while you have been out shopping, no doubt you have seen things that you might like to find under the tree for yourself to unwrap.
Maybe it is a new cell phone.
Perhaps, for some of our younger audience it is the New Sony PS3 or Nintendo Wii.
Maybe it is some Jewelry that you have been wanting
Perhaps it is a new watch.
Or maybe if you are in that small group of shoppers, it is a new Lexus with a bow on it.
Or maybe it is nothing material at all.
Perhaps you are just looking for the health of a family member.
Or the safe return of a loved one or friend from Iraq
But no matter
how expensive, or
how big or
the gift you have been wanting and waiting for this Christmas,
there is no gift greater than the gift of God’s love that was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger for you.
God sent his own Son, Jesus,
giving up the greatness and glory of heaven,
to be born into this dark and dreary world as a baby,
so that we might have the privilege and blessing of unwrapping God’s love into our lives.
This morning we are going to finish up our series on unwrapping the gifts of Christmas and talk about how to unwrap the gift of God’s love into our lives.
We are going to be reading the account of the Shepherds in
Luke 2:8-20 (p. 725).
We are going to take a look at
who this gift is for and
how we can unwrap it into our lives
so that we can experience the wonderful love of God not only at Christmas, but 365 days a year.
This is a gift that is not just opened and used for a couple of weeks and then tossed aside, but this is a gift that will not only last for this lifetime, but into eternity as well.
So let’s read in
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.
(from New International Version)
Before we get into the text, I want to ask you a question.
Has someone ever given you something or attempted to give you something that you felt you shouldn’t take because
You felt you didn’t deserve it or
It would hurt your pride to think that you needed something
Maybe you think to yourselves that
I don’t need any help or
there are others that could use this more than me.
I would imagine that practically everyone here has experienced that at some point in their life.
One more question.
How would you feel if you gave someone a gift but they refused to open it or use it?