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)


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

Christmas morning.

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

Christmas carols

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

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Lancelot Waldron

commented on Dec 14, 2006

This is a ver refreshing look at the Carol. People sing it every year and It is an insiprping interpretation of a text many may take for granted

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