The angels proclaimed from their heavenly realm,
Let us now proclaim from earth ---
The death and resurrection of our King,
Like they did the virgin birth.
The time has flown since Thanksgiving. I can't believe how quickly Christmas is approaching; It's less than a week away! I am beginning to feel a little stressed. There are still so many things I want to squeeze in before the big day. I am really having to guard against the Nativity being replaced in my heart with Activity. So...this is an intentional break to take a spiritual breath. Join me, and let's "unwrap" a portion of the Christmas story together to help us stay focused on the One this holiday is about.
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified." Luke 2:8-9.
"...the glory of the Lord shone around them..." Was this illuminated angel shining from being in God's presence?
Read Exodus 34:29-35.
According to verse 29, what physical condition did Moses experience?____________________________________________
What caused this condition?_______________________________
Was Moses aware of it?___________________________________
T or F Lack of awareness on our part, means our time with the Lord is having no effect on those about us. ____
Read Matthew 5:14-16 What are God's people described as in these verses?________________________________________________
According to verse 16 what is the result of a life that shines for God?
Let's return to Luke chapter 2.
Read verse 10. According to this verse, what kind of news was the angel bringing, and who was it to?
Read Luke 2:11-12.
According to the angel's message, who was born?_______________
Where was He born?______________________________________
What was the sign given that would help the shepherds to recognize Him?___________________________________________________
Was this message obscure or explicit?_________________________
Read Luke 2:13.
I love the Aramaic Bible translation of this verse: "And suddenly the great armies of Heaven appeared with the angel, while shouting praises to God..." The way some versions word it, it sounds like only a portion of the angels appeared and made this announcement, "...and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude OF the heavenly host..." The announcement of the long-awaited Messiah's birth surely warranted the participation of every angelic being.
Read Psalm 103:21.
Read Luke 2:14.
Most versions say, "Glory to God in the highest..." or "...highest heaven..."
Read 2 Corinthians 12:2.
According to this verse, is there more than one heaven?___________
Some hypothesize that earth's atmosphere is the first heaven, outer space is the second heaven, and the dwelling place of God is the third heaven. I don't know if that is accurate, but in any case, this birth resulted in glory that transcended all heavenly boundaries, reaching to the highest one---God's abode, and even down to lowly earth, the dwelling place of man. What an event it was, and and no wonder---
Read Colossians 1:15-17.
These verses are packed with mind-boggling descriptions of Jesus. List some of them.________________________________________
He is the centrality of all things. "...in Him all things hold together."
It shouldn't surprise us that the angelic hosts were summoned to announce His birth!
Read John 1:1-3. How does this describe Jesus?_______________________________________________________
Reread Colossians 1:15-17.
These verses summarize the Jesus the angels knew.
Now, begin at Colossians 1:18 and read through 22. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!!!!!! This is the Jesus we know!
I am at a loss in trying to express the enormity of the fact that we have been commissioned to announce the rest of the story---His death, burial and resurrection, and not only this, but His impending return. There are not sufficient words to convey the privilege God has given us.The angels were made privy to God's plan of sending His Son to earth. They were fitting messengers to announce His birth, but they are not suited to proclaim His death on the cross---why not? Because God designed us to do that. We are the better candidates, being recipients of the salvation Jesus purchased.
Read 1 Peter 1:10-12.
What do these verses tell us regarding angels and our salvation?
Just as I believe that every angelic voice was present in announcing the birth of the King, I believe every human voice, after the cross, was/is meant to bring glory to God in the highest, by proclaiming the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son!
We have reached our apex, as far as human endeavors go, when we have made the same determination that Paul did in proclaiming the mystery of God.
Read 1 Cor. 2:1-2.
What did Paul determine?___________________________________
If we make this same determination to focus on Jesus, and the cross, and to proclaim this, God's glory will accompany us and will shine around us as surely as it shone from Moses' face, and around the angels who visited the shepherds.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18.
What does this verse say the preaching of the cross is to those who are saved?______________________________________________
The power of the gospel will be released
If we will faithfully tell
Of the Savior who died upon the cross
To redeem us and save us from hell.