God wants to be found. He did not come to earth to play a game of hide and seek…His birth was announced, and His glory revealed, in a spectacular way by angels to shepherds. Their first reaction, fear, is removed by the revelation of God’s glory, and is exchanged for joy. Jesus – Savior, Messiah, and Lord – is among us!
10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14
What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child?
Read Luke 2:10-14. What does the angel’s announcement tell you about Christ and what His coming meant to the world?
There is a common reaction of fear in the Christmas story (Luke 1:12, 29-30, 1:65 [KJV], 2:9-10). Is any of this fear constructive or appropriate? Could or should fear be a healthy part of your spiritual life?
The good news that will cause great joy for all the people is still the same today. In the midst of a busy Christmas season, how can you more fully appreciate the joy God brings this time of year? How can you reflect the joy God brings to those around you?
Read the following passages and note how God’s glory is revealed. What do you imagine it would be like to see the full glory of God?
- Exodus 40:33-35
- Psalm 19:1
- Isaiah 6:3
- Matthew 24:29-31
- John 17:1-5
- Hebrews 1:3
What do you believe most people think about when they hear, “and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests”?
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” on Christmas Day in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. The second verse of the poem laments, “And in despair I bowed my head ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said, for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.” The angels announced peace at Jesus’ birth, but we are obviously not experiencing ‘world peace’. What kind of peace did Jesus bring?
Do you have peace with God?
- If your answer is “no”, consider how God has offered to reconcile you to Himself. Are you willing to accept His gift of peace this Christmas season? If so, “…Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10
- If your answer is “yes”, what are you doing to spread the good news? Ask God for the opportunity and the boldness to share about the gift of His Son with at least one person this Christmas.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Read the entire Christmas story in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1:1-2:40 (including the genealogy in Luke 3:23-38). Note the differences in the story between Matthew and Luke. What do you think the differences in the accounts say about the writer and the audience?
Read the following passages and list the prophecy fulfilled. What do these fulfillments of prophecy lead you to conclude about God’s sovereignty over nature, people, and world events?
|OT Passage||Prophecy||NT Passage||Fulfilment of Prophecy|