Summary: Sermon from Luke 2:1-14 - Examines what the angels said to the shepherds & how their words apply to our lives today.
“WHAT THE ANGELS SAID” Luke 2:1-14
FBCF – 12/20/20
INTRO – “One day I was staring through the window of a beautiful little Christmas shop. It was packed w/ Christmas items, even though Christmas was still 6 mos. away. There were exquisite [nativity displays] from Italy, Germany, & Norway. There were fuzzy-faced elves & jolly old Santa Clauses, sleights & reindeer of every size & description, bells & trees, & music boxes. There were nutcrackers & candles & electric lights, angels & wise men & little drummer boys, stars & snowmen & gingerbread cutouts. The little shop was fairly bursting w/ Christmas, & a loudspeaker broadcast a medley of Yuletide tunes. And down in the corner of the front door, where no one could miss it, was the neatest touch of all. It was a small sign that said, ‘Christmas Spoken Here.’” (John Killinger, Christmas Spoken Here)
If Christmas should be spoken anywhere, it ought to be spoken here, in the Church, the very Body of Christ. What could better say why we are here today & every Lord’s Day than to proclaim that God has come down to us to change the course of history & our lives forever. He entered our world, showed us His love in the most wonderfully amazing way ever, inviting us to enter into an eternal relationship w/ Him. He came as the Promised Messiah who made the promise to take us to the Promised Land if we would accept His Promise.
So, let’s keep speaking about Christmas today as we think some more about “The Words of Christmas.” Last week, we considered what the prophet said, that the Light of the world has come to us in our darkness; that He is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, & Prince of Peace.
EXPLANATION – God has used angels to bring His messages to His people many times. Martin Luther: “An angel is a spiritual creature created by God without a body for the service of Christendom and the church.”
- Think about instances in OT:
o Angels visited Abraham – Genesis 18
o Rescued Lot – Genesis 19
o Appeared to Jacob multiple times – Genesis 28; 31; 32; 48
When we move into the NT, angels take on a new significance w/ the coming of Jesus into the world. His life & ministry was full of angelic encounters & experiences:
- His conception was announced by an angel
- His birth was announced by angels
- He was tempted by Satan, who is a fallen angel
- He was ministered to by angels after his temptation
- His teaching is filled w/ references to angels
- He experienced the ministry of angels in the Garden of Gethsemane
- He authoritatively stated that He could have called 12 legions of angels to come to His defense (Matthew 26:53)
- Angels were present at His tomb following His resurrection, & were present at His ascension back to heaven
- Angels will accompany Him when He comes again (Matthew 16:27; 24:31; 25:31)
And here in Luke 2, they play a HUGE part in the Christmas story. What a privilege for them to be know something we humans didn’t yet know, & to be commissioned & commanded by God to communicate that news to us! As James Montgomery wrote in 1816, “Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth. Ye who sang creation’s story, now proclaim Messiah’s birth. Come & worship, come & worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King.”
APPLICATION – The message that the angels brought to the shepherds 2000 years ago is the same message for us today.
Here’s what they said in that message:
v. 10 – DON'T BE AFRAID! – So much fear in the world, then & now.
- Then: Fear b/c God had been silent for 400 yrs. Had he forgotten His people? Had He turned away from them? Was He done w/ them? Fear of the tyrannical oppression of the Roman government – the dominion & taxation of the Romans. God’s people had strangers ruling over them. They were ripe for a Messiah to come!
- Now: So many fears that threaten to overwhelm us. Anxiety levels higher than they’ve been in a long time – maybe the highest level they’ve ever been for some of us.
Into this world of fear, the angel came & strongly proclaimed, “Fear not!”
- I’ve heard it said that the statement, “Fear not,” is in the Bible 365 times, maybe even 366 times (Leap Year). I haven’t been able to confirm that, but I will tell you this: Even if this was the ONLY time that God sent the message of “FEAR NOT” to us, it would have been enough! B/c the coming of Christ into the world puts all of our fears, doubts, & anxieties to rest as the Prince of Peace rules over us!