Luke 2:15-21. (The Shepherds’ reaction)
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN.
In the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit- Amen.
Today’s Gospel reading may seem a strange choice, in the sense that it’s so straight-forward! Surely everyone gets what it’s all about.
Luke 2:15-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [a]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Circumcision of Jesus
21 And when eight days were completed [b]for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
First of all, it’s about the incarnation of Jesus, when Mary became pregnant with the Son of God. We remember the incarnation at this time of the year, and in fact many Christians believe that this is the right season for it.
Secondly we see, through the shepherds, how we should react when we get a revelation of God’s word. They immediately acted upon it and through their faith and trust in God they were blessed with being the first to see the Christ!
We also should act immediately on the word we have revealed to us so that we will also be blessed by God. The lepers acted on Jesus’ word to show themselves to the priest, and on the way they were healed.
Remember, “Ask” God for the desires He has placed in your heart; “Seek” to do what He tells you in His reply; then “Knock” and the door to your blessings will be opened to you.
Thirdly – Did you notice that after seeing the Christ child the shepherds spread the word about what they had heard? We all, when we have revelation from God and His word, should act to spread the word within our sphere of influence. If shepherds who did not have God’s Spirit within them could do it, can we face Jesus if we don’t?
Tell people the truths of God and they will be amazed at what you are saying, just as the people who listened to the Shepherds were amazed!
Fourthly – We have Mary treasuring the things that happened in her heart?
Are you building up a treasure of Godly memories which you can store in your heart? Can I suggest that we should, so that we will be able to face any trial with equanimity.
So that is a cursory look at the gospel passage we heard today. It celebrates the first Advent of Jesus.
Now when we think of Advent we of course do not just think of the first one when Jesus came as a baby, but mature Christians thinks also of how Jesus will rescue them from the ultimate disaster that Satan plans for this world. His second Advent.
We have a double celebration!
And this is why we tell people about His first coming and how they can receive Him as Lord and Saviour.
While the world sees a holiday and continues headlong into oblivion, we see opportunity to tell them of their Saviour. The God/man who came down to our level to rescue us, when we could not get up to His level because we were sinners!
Jesus said that things would wax worse and worse in the world, and we see this happening. We see mass murder and ethnic cleansing. We see religious cleansing as Jews and Christians killed and pushed out of Middle East countries. We see Christianity being marginalised in favour of the secular religion of humanism.
These are the signs of the times that we live in. If any will listen and realise that they need a saviour and the only viable option is Jesus then we should tell them the Good News! While the world is running headlong in the wrong direction, Jesus has informed their consciences and they know that they should turn to Him. That is why Jesus says that the fields are white for harvest. The flowers are open looking for the pollen of God’s word!
So let us show the world how to celebrate the two Advents of Jesus because to us on the inside they are both Good News!
At the first Advent He came to be our Saviour. He lived and died and was resurrected taking away our sins. Now when we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness (death) to the kingdom of God’s son Jesus (life)!
At the second Advent Jesus returns, shortening the days of the tribulation for the sake of His elect, His Church and His people! Then we will receive our rewards as blood bought children of Almighty God. The bible tells us it’s so fantastic we cannot imagine it with our current minds!
But at that time we will know it, because we will be like Jesus in His glory and we will see Him as He is!
Now doesn’t that make Christmas something to look forward to and tell others about?
And if you want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour just speak to our pastor David, and evangelist, or another in ministry after the service.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all,