The First Christmas
luke 2:8-20 | Ian Thomas
December 24th, 2018
Main Idea: Christmas is good news of great joy for all people and is an invitation to respond in worship
I. The Content of Christmas (2:8-12)
The response to an experience with God’s “glory” in Scripture is always the same: fear (Cf. Isaiah 6). When we are confronted with God’s holiness and majesty, we realize that we, as humans, are neither of these things.
The message of Christmas is that “mega-fear” will give way to “mega-joy,” because a Savior, Christ the Lord, is born.
Christmas is not simply about a birth, but about a coming - Tim Keller
This good news of great joy is truly for all people. Shepherds, the first to hear of this good news, were viewed with great disdain and suspicion in this society. God purposely comes to the lowly and downcast in society, rather than to royalty or the elite.
II. The Battle-Cry of Christmas (2:13-14)
When the Scriptures describe the heavenly “host,” it is in reference to a military unity or an army, not a heavenly choir. The Shepherds are now witnessing a battle-cry of a multitude of the heavenly army.
These angels are making a declaration of war on evil, sin, and death. The coming of the Savior means that peace is coming to a world that desperately needs it.
Christmas means peace on earth, but this peace comes at a cost. The battle here will not be won with swords and ancient warfare but through the perfect life and suffering of the very son of God.
III. The Call of Christmas (2:15-20)
Christmas is an invitation for all of us to “go and see this thing which the Lord has made known to us.”
Christmas calls together a group of imperfect people gathered around a perfect savior, and the same thing is still happening today.
This first gospel community responds to the message of the shepherds in 3 ways:
1. Wonder & Amazement (2:18)
2. Treasuring & Pondering (2:19)
The more we look at [the incarnation], the more we are astonished; the more we become accustomed to it, the more have we a sense of its surpassing splendor of love and grace. There is more of God’s glory and majesty to be seen in the manger and the cross, than in the sparkling stars above, the rolling deep below, the towering mountain, the teeming valleys, the abodes of life, or the abyss of death. Let us then give ourselves up to holy wonder, such as will produce gratitude, worship, love, and confidence, as we think of that great “mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh
3. Glorifying & Praising (2:20)
All of this adds up to worship. The good news of Christmas is an invitation to let this good news of great joy permeate all of life.