Now, for an Important Announcement
(Luke 2:8) "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night."
(Luke 2:9) "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the
Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid."
(Luke 2:10) "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you
good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
(Luke 2:11) "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord."
(Luke 2:12) "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
(Luke 2:13) "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host praising God, and saying,"
(Luke 2:14) "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward
(Luke 2:15) "And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into
heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto
(Luke 2:16) "And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe
lying in a manger."
(Luke 2:17) "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which
was told them concerning this child."
Most church-goers dread announcements. Announcements are considered dull, but
not this announcement.
I. It Was Personal??to you.?
A. The shepherds were surprised at what they saw and heard. They did not expect
to hear such songs or see such sights.
B. We are surprised that shepherds were chosen to receive this greatest of all
announcements. We would expect that the heavenly choir would sing for a
prestigious audience. Can you imagine the Metropolitan Opera putting on a
performance for illiterate herdsmen?
C. We may never know why they were chosen, but the fact that they were chosen is
a comfort to all of us ordinary people.
D. Paul suggests a possible reason in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29. God often chooses
humble things for grand purposes, and ordinary people to do extraordinary deeds.
(1 Cor 1:26) "For ye see your
calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty,
not many noble, are called:"
(1 Cor 1:27) "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound
the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the
things which are mighty;"
(1 Cor 1:28) "And base things of the world, and things which are despised,
hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that
(1 Cor 1:29) "That no flesh should glory in his presence."
E. Now centuries later we must sill hear the message as a personal message. The
fact that hundreds of years have passed and thousands upon thousands have heard
must not diminish the impact of the message. It is still personal!
II. It Was Universal??for all people.?
A. The fact that it was universal does not contradict the fact that it was
B. It was personal in impact, but universal in scope. All people were to have
the opportunity to respond individually and personally to a God who loves them
individually and personally.
C. The fact that the announcement is universal destroys any ethnic pride that we
D. This fact also makes us humble. God?s chosen people today are those who
choose to believe.
E. It makes us evangelistic. God wants us to share the message with everyone
F. It gives us missionary zeal. God wants us to share the message in every
G. The apostle Peter learned that God is no respecter of persons.
(Acts 10:34) "Then Peter opened
his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"
(Acts 10:35) "But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh
righteousness, is accepted with him."
His words ?every nation? were the proper response to Jesus? words ?all nations.?
III. It Was Timely??today.?
A. Spiritually it seems that every Christmas we are celebrating the birth of
Christ for the first time.
B. Nationally and internationally we seem to need Christmas especially at this
C. Perhaps in your life Christmas has special meaning this year.
D. We must never be content with simply recalling a past event.
E. The famous Christmas carol says ?Be born in us today!?
IV. It Was Also Timeless??a Savior.?
A. That?s what people needed then.
B. That?s what people need now.
C. That?s what people have needed in all the years between then and now.
D. That?s what people will need until the end of time.
It is never enough to just listen to the announcement even if we listen
attentively. It is not enough to just listen to the announcement, even if we
listen reverently. We must respond to this angelic announcement.
While it is proper to pay special attention to these verses in December, it is
equally true that they are important to us every day of the year. On any Sunday
we could appropriately sing, ?Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!? At any time
of the year we could appropriately sing ?O Come All Ye Faithful.?
Love Came Down
A Christmas Parable
A man is climbing a mountain, at the top of which he hopes to find God. By
ascending the heights, the seeker expects to leave all the cares and miseries of
life behind in the valley. But while he climbs, God is coming down the
mountain into the toil and grief. In the mists of the mountain God and the
man pass one another. When the man reaches the mountain top, he will find
nothing. God is not there. What then will he do? He knows the
climbing was a mistake, but in agony of that recognition, will he fall down and
despair? Or will he turn to retrace his path through the mists and into
the valley to where God has gone seeking him? Love came down at Christmas,
but only a few perceived its coming.
1 John 3:16