Summary: In Luke 2 we see some shepherds, some Jewish men and boys keeping watch over the sheep in their care. They got a shock and a powerful message of Joy!
“With Us” - Part 1 - JOY
Steele Creek Church
December 6, 2020
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:8–14 (ESV)
The Benefits of Christmas - JOY
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10a
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
• You are able to release your fear and accept God’s joy
“. . . I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10b
• You have an opportunity to be a part of something special
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke2:10-11
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:4–6 (ESV)
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17 (NKJV)
• When you yield to God’s salvation, it’s good for now and then
Good morning and Merry Christmas! I’m so glad to say that. After most of 2020 this season couldn’t get here fast enough. I actually remember people posting on social media that in the summer time they were putting up their Christmas decorations just to try and usher in the sense of wonder and the spirit of Joy that is Christmas.
I think that the allure of Christmas, at least in our minds is that we go back to simpler time and a place when the demands of life were not so overwhelming. When the wonder of some gift and time with our favorite family members was all we could think about.
Growing up in a family of 8 children, with other relatives living with us, Christmas was simply wonderfully chaotic. All the people, all the food, all the presents and all the memories made. Just thinking about it brings me great joy.
Today, it’s different for me. There’s still the wonder and the gifts and food and more but the added pressures of life, the complicated moments or relationships, hurts, disappointments, loss of those dear and more add a new reality to Christmas.
Now, if you’re a person who has reached the age when all the weight of life falls on you, you know what I’m talking about. For you, it’s not just the thoughts of waking up and opening presents, it’s the mad rush to but, prepare, clean and so much more. In the midst of it, the wonder may have lost some of its sheen.
Maybe even you’ve stopped looking for the wonder? I don’t know.
We begin a series today called “With Us”. The word Emmanuel that we hear so much this time of year, means “God with us” and the word itself has such profound meaning that it could take us great lengths of time to unpack. Still, some things never change, the joy of the Lord, the peace, and goodwill He brings.
So for this series, let’s focus on some amazing benefits of what it means that God is with us.
In Luke 2 we see some shepherds, some Jewish men and boys keeping watch over the sheep in their care. It could be that life had lost some of its sheen for them too and here they are, not looking for anything out of the ordinary, yet at the first Christmas, that’s what they got. Indeed, more than someone unexpected, they got a shock!