Introduction:: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Jesus is born and shepherds share their experiences with others. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to appreciate that Jesus is born and share our experiences with Him with others.
Read Luke 2:1-3
I. Worldly Power. In our Sunday School material Caesar Augustus called for a census of the Roman world. It was the first counting during Quirinius term as the Governor of Syria. Everyone had to go back to his or her hometown to register.
- God’s meeting us where we are. Notice in vss. 1-3 that God knows about human situations. He knows about taxes and no room in the inn (vs. 7).
First, this is good news, because it reminds us that we don’t have to go somewhere or change our lot in life, in order to be in communication with God. God can meet us in the midst of our situations.
Think about how you have to go to the doctor. But God makes house calls, job calls (i.e., meet you on your job), car calls, etc.
Second, because believers are to serve the Lord by ministering to people, we should work on meeting people where they are. We should not be so Heavenly minded that we are no Earthly good.
This may be a more relevant word for middle class and working class believers whose church house is located in a poor to working class community. It is important that we meet people where they are with a sensitivity to their realities.
Let’s work on thanking God for meeting us where we are and letting God use us to do the same with those to whom we minster.
Read Luke 2:4-7
II. Lowly Infant. In our Sunday School material Joseph was taking his pledged wife to Bethlehem. There she had her son, Jesus. They were out near the animals, because there was no room for them in the inn.
- God’s use of unlikely candidates. Notice in vss. 4-7 that God moves in mysterious ways. He chooses whomever He wants to choose and have them to do what He wants them to do. If it were not for our familiarity with the text, it may seem rather strange that God would use such poor and oppressed people like Joseph and Mary.
First, we should thank God that God’s criteria for whom He will use is not dictated by people. Those whom people would have discarded God may have chosen to do a great work through.
Second, we should be careful about writing people off based on their socio-economic status. Some of those who look so good on the outside will do so little for the kingdom’s agenda. And some of those who look a little rough on the outside may do great things for the Lord.
Let’s thank God for what He does with the unlikely candidates, and let’s work on being more open to God doing a good work through the unlikely candidates around us.
Read Luke 2:8-14
III. Angelic Army. Nearby shepherds were confronted by an angel of the Lord. In response to their being terrified, they were told to “do not be afraid.” They were told about the Savior, Messiah, and Lord being born in the town of David. In our Sunday School material other heavenly beings (i.e., soldiers) gathered with praise of God.
- Emotional control. Notice in vss. 9-10 that the angel of the Lord called for the shepherds to get their emotions under control. A method of doing that is found in the same text - focus on the good news, instead of being terrified by the unknown origins and agenda of the angel.
There are so many things that we don’t understand. There are so many things that seem as if they could cause us harm. If we are not careful, we will spend so much time on the unknown and possible dangers around us that we spend too much time being afraid, instead of being joyful about what God is doing.
Let’s work on controlling our emotions, by controlling our thoughts. We should focus on God’s goodness and will for our lives, instead of those things that tempt us to be terrified.
- God the promise keeper. Notice in vs. 11 that God is a promise keeper. God promised a Savior would come through David’s lineage and He is keeping His promise, in the Sunday School material.
In like manner, God can be trusted to keep all of His promises. Two promises that should always be on our minds are (1) God promises to bless obedience and (2) God promises to punish disobedience.
Let’s live like we trust that God is a promise keeper. Such living should be known for obedience that anticipates blessings. It is contradictory to live disobedient lives that show no fear or concern with being punished.
- Praising soldiers. Notice in vss. 13-14 that heavenly soldiers (i.e., host) are praising God. First, the soldiers remind us that God is not a pacifist. The challenge of our day is to discern when we are in a “just war” situation.
Second, if soldiers praise God with enthusiasm then surely we should praise the Lord. Our praise should be enthusiastic and edifying to others. Too often what we see in our worship services is far from enthusiastic or edifying. Let’s work on praising God and seeking His will about wars.
Read Luke 2:15-17
IV. Shepherds’ Journey. The angels left the shepherds. In our Sunday School material the shepherds decided to go and see the Baby. When they saw Him, they shared with others what had been told to them about the Baby.
- Experiencing Jesus. Notice in vs. 17 that when the shepherds arrived they made sure they saw Jesus. Too many people come to church and see and experience some of everything except the Lord.
They see the preacher, choir, and devotional leaders. They see who is sitting where and who is wearing what, but too often they miss out on the Lord.
Let’s make sure we experience the Lord, every time we come to His house. We can do this by focusing our mind on hearing and experiencing God through whatever means God chooses. God usually speaks through the Pastor and choir. But He may speak through a kind word from the person sitting next to you as well.
- Sharing Jesus. Notice in vs. 17 of our Sunday School material that the shepherds went and told others about Jesus. In like manner, we should be known for both experiencing and sharing Jesus with others. It should be a part of our routine to invite and bring people with us to church and help them get right with God.
Let’s work on sharing Jesus with others. Our testimonies will help our presentation of the plan of salvation go even further.
Conclusion: Let’s work on appreciating that Jesus is born and sharing our experiences with Him with others. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.