Rev. Brian K. Brown, Pastor, St. Mark M.B. Church
Christmas is not about the commercial aspects of this season but is a reminder to us about the Christ who makes Christmas possible.
In verses 11 and 12 the Angel announces to shepherds of a great occurrence they weren’t aware of. A baby had been born like none other, for Christ the Lord had been born. Shepherds asked how they could find the babe and the Angel gives them a sign to find the babe. The first people to be the recipient of Christ had a sign to find the gift of Christ (this shall be a sign unto you). We are the sign of Christ today. Christ was revealed through a sign (verse 12) but how does the world today know that Christ has come, the sign is us.
Pastor Brown’s first point, as he asked the question what sign shall come from us, comes from verses 15 and 16, our sign is revealed in our walk. Shepherds were outside of Bethlehem when they heard the news and told to go and witness the event. They walked (where God needed them to go) to see the babe. Our walk denotes movement and when we stop walking we should not be where we were. Our movement should reveal a sign that we are moving and leaving a message that Christ, through us, showed up. Walking is seen through ministry. The substance of our way of life should reveal our ministry and show we belong to someone superior to who we are. Our existence should be a sign that Christ is alive as we walk with certainty and leave something that others can pick up.
The second point, our sign should be revealed in our words. Now that we are the recipients of the gift of Christ we should not walk in silence but shared in our words. After the shepherds found the babe they left recounting the story told to them to all they had seen and shared it with everyone they came in contact with (it was made known abroad). For us everywhere we go is an opportunity to share the story of Christ. The shepherds words were factual. Everything they recounted was either told to them by the Angel or was seen by them. Is our story factual? Jesus does not need embellishment of his story and what God does for us does not need embellishment, it is amazing by itself. Just as the shepherds, we are to say what we heard and tell what we’ve seen God do in our lives so others can be blessed by our witness. As we share Jesus are we cold in our feelings about him? Our words should be spoken with feeling and not in a removed way so that it’s felt by those we speak with.
The final point from verse 20 our story is revealed in our worship. The shepherds left their flock to witness the wonder of Jesus’ birth and as they returned they told what they heard and saw. In verse 20 the bible tells us they returned to their flock glorifying and praising God. The shepherds glorified God to others and even when others weren’t around. Worship has two sides, attitudinal and active. Our attitude about God drives our worship to God because we know God is splendid and majestic, so we give God all our praise. We cannot give real worship to God without using some action. Praise is the active side, so when we praise God, we bow a head, raise a hand, fall prostrate, declare that he is worthy, and we are not worthy to look upon his face. The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard as it was told unto them. We are who we are, we have what we have and do what we do because of God, and he therefore deserves our worship and praise.
You’re invited to experience the full sermon is on YouTube and join us Sunday mornings in the sanctuary or via live-stream on YouTube @ St Mark MBC at 10:20 for Sunday School, worship service at 10:45 a.m., and bible study on Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.