Summary: The signiicance of Jesus’ birth as outlined in the Christmas song: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
(adapted from Bob Rusell; material in intro and close orrowed from Melvin Newland)
SERIES: “CHRISTMAS CAROL THEOLOGY”
TITLE: “WHEN GOD INTERVENES: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
TEXT: LUKE 2:8-20
INTRODUCTION: A. I wonder what Christmas means to different people?
1. I wonder what Christmas means to a mother who has lost her husband, who must
take care of several children, working every day, never quite getting everything
done, never making ends meet? What does Christmas mean to her?
2. I wonder what Christmas means to the little man in Zimbabwe, 80 years old, living
in a hut, who knows nothing of shopping malls or Christmas trees? What does
Christmas mean to him?
3. I wonder what it means to little Haitian children with smudges on their cheeks, &
sparkling eyes that look up in wonder as you walk past? What does Christmas
mean to them?
4. I wonder what it means to missionaries who are half a world away from families &
friends, who are sacrificing so much to take the precious gospel message to others
who have never heard? What does it mean to them?
5. I’m sure that Christmas means different things to different people.
a. To merchants it is the busiest time of the year. Stores stay open longer, they hire
extra people to accommodate all the shoppers. It means more profit, hopefully
enough profit to see them through lean times ahead.
b. For some employees it means a Christmas bonus, a little more money in their
pockets to do things that they want to do.
c. For many teen-agers & adults it is a time of fun & parties. For children it is a
time of impatience, with time seeming to pass so slowly, as they wait for
B. Sometimes I get the feeling that we are like the folks who decided to throw a party
to honor a very special friend. They sent out invitations, decorated the hall, & had the
food catered. All the people came together at the designated time, but to their
surprise, the guest of honor was not there.
Finally, they made the embarrassing discovery that no one had ever invited the
guest of honor.
1. I wonder if that happens at Christmas time?
2. One family tried to overcome that problem by putting an extra place at their
Christmas table for Jesus, & calling Christmas, "His birthday party." When one of
their daughters was asked if she got everything she wanted for Christmas, she
answered by saying, "No, but then it’s not my birthday."
a. Do we go through all the decorating, & buying presents, & preparing elaborate
meals, but somehow forget whose birthday it really is?
b. It isn’t our birthday, is it? It’s the Lord’s birthday & it’s a time to remember His
birth & that His birth and life led to death on a cross for our sins and the His
resurrection brings new birth to us.
C. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to take a close look at several famous
1. We’ve sung these songs for many years and they contain wonderful biblical truth
2. But the problem is that we’re so familiar with them that we sing them without
paying attention to their meaning
E. Our first Christmas carol is Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
1. It’s based on Lk. 2:8-20 – “And there were shepherds living out in the fields
nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to
them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he
is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in
cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host
appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 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."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the
manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been
told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds
said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her
heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they