Let’s get right to it – Here are nine ways we can celebrate Christ all year from Luke 2:8-20.
1.Proclaim Christ (2:8-12)
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
10 And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
Of course, we know, historically, shepherds were not trusted in a court of law because of their lying ways. We also know they were probably raising sheep to be sacrificed in the temple.
But the shepherds are not to unlike us. After all, they needed the gospel just like we do. The gospel is for all!
Notice the three names given:
• Jesus – saving name
• Christ – supernatural name
• Lord – sovereign name
All year, let us speak boldly the name of Christ! He saves us supernaturally by his sovereign grace. How can we not but share?
(As an aside, did the angels actually sing? Specifically, this deals with the angelic announcement to the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth. A large number of Christian Christmas songs, old and new, indicate that the angels sang that night. But did you know the Scripture doesn’t actually say this? Rather, the Bible says that they praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). True, the angels may have really sung that night. The counter-argument is that the Bible often links singing and praising (Psalm 47:6-7; James 5:13). Yet, it doesn’t actually say the angels sang. The word used (legonton) in Luke 2:13 is often translated “saying” from the root word lego, which means to “say” most commonly. This idea of the angels not actually singing may rub some the wrong way. But the Bible doesn’t explicitly say this. What’s the takeaway? Simply that all traditional understandings are not inherently wrong in themselves. But, with all things, we must examine the Scripture (Acts 17:11) to see if these things are true. And, if they go against the Bible, we must reject them as such.
2. Praise God (2:13-14)
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 among those with whom he is pleased!"
This is exalting worship at its finest. An untold heavenly army spoke peace. And peace only comes through Christ!
There are two types of peace:
--Objective peace (peace with God – We were at war with God in our sin. We repent and come to him for salvation.
--Subjective peace – fills our heart and reminds us of his presence.
Bottom-line: “Praise befits the upright” (Psalm 33:1). A bright spirit of praise to God befits Christians. It’s like that great tie that makes the whole outfit “pop.” It is the crowning beauty of true holiness. It is irresistibly attractive.
3. Prioritize Christ (2:15)
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
It has been well said: “If you do not prioritize what's most important in your life, someone else will.”
They didn’t delay. They didn’t pray about it. They just went straightaway to see if what they had experienced was true.
“Don’t touch Christianity unless you are willing to seek the Kingdom of Heaven first. I promise you a miserable existence, if you seek it second.”
--Henry Drummond (1851-1897).
"Seek first the kingdom of God" (Matt 6:33). Something will come first in every life. If not the kingdom of God, then what? And why that?
We can seek first the Kingdom of God today, because the King of the Kingdom first sought us and gave us his righteousness
4. Pursue Christ (2:16)
16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
There was a great urgency and anticipation in their steps.
We must live with urgency. Time is fleeting. Death is coming. Christ is returning. Judgment is looming. Eternity is approaching.
And we must follow Jesus. He will not follow us. We must pursue His will. He will not adopt our plans.
5. Profess Christ (2:17)
17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child
They were passing on what they had been told. They were some of the first evangelists.
Certainly, not all who profess Christ possess Him, but all who possess Christ profess Him.
Evangelism isn’t a fish on your car, a cross around your neck, or your personal testimony—it’s proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. The heart of evangelism is to know Jesus, to know non-Christians, and then to connect these dots.
Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Find someone not like you, who doesn't believe like you, & declare & display to them the gospel of Jesus.
Who is the one in your life you need to tell the good news of the gospel to?
6. Perplexed by Christ (2:18)
18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
How can this be? How could this have happened?
Let us never forget that people were amazed at Christ for the rest of his life—from beginning to end. The Way, the Truth and the Life was in that manger, causing angels to rejoice, Mary to wonder, shepherds to worship and us to have hope.
Every day you and I should do what the shepherds did; run with wonder and joy to the feet of the Messiah and worship. Or, said simply:
No wonder and awe at what God has done for us in Christ = no worship.
It's impossible to over-love Jesus. "Balance" in affection for Jesus is nonsense. May we grow in gospel-astonishment and childlike wonder/worship of Jesus the closer we get to heaven.
7. Prize Christ (2:19)
19 But Mary treasured up all these things,
She has been up all night and her heart was like a treasure chest that took it all in.
Christ becomes our treasure as we know ourselves to be his treasure. This why the Puritan, Thomas Watson, said: “Those who prize Christ part with every lust that takes them away from Christ.”
God is our prize. The gospel is the good news that God, in Christ, paid the price of suffering so that we could have the prize of enjoying him forever.
8. Ponder Christ (2:19b)
pondering them in her heart.
This is more than teasure. It is lining up all the truths of what the Bible says about Christ and us in your mind and rolling them over and over. Not too unlike a child that lines up his or her favorite toys in a row and stands in awe of them over and over again.
In short, it is difficult to meditate on the cross of Christ and at the same time feel sorry for yourself.
Let's ponder what God has given us: "Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness & sanctification & redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30).
9. Praise Christ (2:20)
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
"We must never look at any sin in our past in any way except that which leads us to praise God & to magnify His grace in Christ Jesus." –Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones
I don’t know what you are facing as you read this. But all is settled by God in heaven by Christ.
This world is so short and eternity is so long.
They went back thanking God for all that he has done for them. And so should we.
There is no ceasefire in this war for souls; no temporary truce for remembering the birth of Christ Let us use every opportunity to advance Christ's cause with these nine timeless truths.