The Invitation to Celebration!

This Christmas season is probably unlike any other you’ve known. Politics, lockdowns, Coronavirus, you name it. This Christmas is different. Its different, but only in how we perceive it. Lets for a moment slide everything to the side and focus on the reason for Christmas. It’s about Jesus and His precious gift of life through salvation. This Christmas I want us to think about this invitation of salvation. A gift is given, but we decide to accept the gift or not.

Some 700 years prior to the birth of Jesus, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Isaiah and he had this to say.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

But after our prophets had said all they had to say about the coming Messiah, who, what, and where about Jesus the Messiah. There was about 430 years of silence. There was a time of Spiritual dryness. The People of God became cold to God. Some turned to religious tradition because the presence of God, as they had known it was absent.

Our main text today teaches us about God keeping his promise to all of us. This text also teaches us how to appropriately respond to God.

My big idea for today is… As a nation/church we have been given an invitation to redirect our minds and hearts to a time or place where we were hungry for the things of God. That we would return to this state of mind/heart and gratefully accept the gift of Christ Jesus. My prayer for us today is… That by hearing this message, we would prepare ourselves for what Is coming. Let this season be a reminder that Jesus is coming again.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!”
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.” 

NKJV Luke 2:8-15

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point.

{When it comes to our response to Christmas, we should…}

Rejoice With The Heavenly Hosts

Luke 2:14 All of heaven Rejoices! “Glory to God in the highest heaven.”

Yes, we like to sing the songs but, are our hearts turned to worshiping the King of Kings? Are we prepared to receive from Him today?

They all had been waiting for the Presence of God to return.

According to Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Which we know “Immanuel” Is translated as “God with us.”

Church, Its just like God promised!  The Messiah, Jesus Christ came from the line of David. He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. He ushered in the return of the presence of God to Israel and then the world.  Then he gave up his sinless life to be our sacrifice that broke the bondage of sin and death in our lives.  This was like winning the spiritual lottery and they knew it! They rejoice with all of heaven…Because Jesus! The whole of Israel’s religious tradition hinged on the idea the God had been with them.

Immanuel, God with us!

They rejoiced with all of heaven proclaiming the Good news/Gospel about Jesus. Are we rejoicing about the birth of our savior, or are we just super excited about finite gifts being with family.
{When it comes to our response to Christmas we should…}

Go to Jesus and see.

Luke 2:15 &16— This is Message received!
These were Shepherds tending their flocks and they were drawn to Jesus. I love that God sent this message to the shepherds first. You might say, “Pastor, what do mean?” I’m so glad you asked. It means that even the lowest of sinners like me can rejoice in the Good News of Jesus.  That by the smallest of faith Jesus can be yours today. It means that anyone no matter what you might have done you can respond by going to Him and rejoice.  We can all accept His gift. People rejoice because, Jesus is for all people. He has brought salvation to the world and all we have to do is come to him.

Revelation 3:20—draws this image…

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Revelation 3:20

I’m so thrilled to be here telling you all about Jesus!  This is what Christmas is really about. It’s about the Savior that was born. {John Chapter 1}

It’s about how Jesus came to take our sin and crush the work of the Devil. This is about how Jesus made my life new. And Christmas is about how Jesus has come to transform our lives/world. This is us, rejoicing in our lives because Jesus came and bought us back from sin and death. 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

As the Holy Spirit moves on your heart today will you open up and rejoice as you come to Jesus. Do you have a need today? Do you need a Wonderful Counselor…Mighty God…maybe today you need a Father that will never leave you or forsake you (He’s Everlasting)…could you use some peace in your life today?

With every head bowed and every eye closed. If you would say pastor I don’t know if I can get to Jesus today. Something I did. Something in my life. I’m here to tell you that Jesus will come to you. Will you rejoice with all Heaven an earth today and say yes to Jesus? Will you say, “I want Jesus today.”

As a family Altogether, just repeat after me.

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26