Speaker: Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Date: December 18, 2016
Text: Shepherds: Amazement In Fear
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see-I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
Christmas is for you. Jesus came as savior because what we need most is forgiveness. He came as "Christ" or "Messiah" because he was especially anointed and set apart for this mission. This Christmas, don't miss the very person way in which Jesus came to save, you.
1. Marnie shared the story of a couple who were surprised by a million dollar gift after they thought it was a scam and hung up on the calls. Can you think of a time when you got good news?
2. There's a lot of mentions of angels in the Christmas story. They function as divine messengers who get humans' attention in matters of extreme urgency? Most of us don't encounter angels with any regularity, so how does God get your attention? List some ways.
3. When the shepherds encounter the angels, they are "terrified." Fear happens when we know we are no longer in control. Can you recall a time when you felt fear? How did God meet you in that moment or moments? Whom did God use to support you during that time? What was the end result?
4. Some common fears we share are failure, the future, and death. At Christmas, God meets us in our fears. Take a moment to lay your fears before God in prayer?
5. Christmas is an invitation to lay down our fears. Why? Don't fear because God has a plan... and it is unfolding right in front of your eyes. Do you have an assurance that God has a plan and purpose for your life? If not, why do you think that is?
6. Jesus is "the Christ" -- he comes on a mission, and that mission is to achieve forgiveness for his people. Don't miss that this Christmas.