Tom Scott - 17/12/2017

Luke 2:8-14


Date: December 18, 2017

  As the rain clouds moved on; the cold winds blew, but that didn’t keep us from singing the Christmas carols of the season in the common area of the apartment complex yesterday.  It was a wonderful experience being there and lifting up our voices in praise to God for the birth of his son so many long years ago.  I captured some wonderful pictures of those who came out to enjoy the event because it was a meaningful opportunity for us to carry on a Christmas tradition.  The carols have such a rich history and such deep meaning when you study their backgrounds and verses. 
   Yesterday morning we spent some time looking at some of the favorites which we enjoy singing each year.  Do you have a favorite Christmas carol that you love listening to?  There are thousands of carols out there, but I talked about three in particular as we continued our look at Luke chapter two.  Let’s take some time this week to reflect upon these five questions as we enjoy our favorite Christmas carols.

1. The idea of Christmas carols gained popularity in 1223 when St. Francis of Assisi incorporated them in his nativity plays.  Carols were first used as songs by which people danced around in circles and could be sung throughout the year in Europe.  Why do you enjoy singing the Christmas carols during this season?

2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing was the first carol we looked at yesterday morning.  In this song, the angels praise God for the birth of Jesus Christ.  In Luke chapter two we find the account of this story as the angels came to the shepherds in the fields by night.  Why does Luke tell us that the shepherds were frightened by the sight of the angel that appeared to them?

3. Silent Night was the second carol that we spent some time looking at.  It is hard to imagine that it was a silent night when Christ was born.  The heavenly host was anything but silent when they sang out in praise to God.  What excuses do you hear when it comes to people not singing out in praise to God when they consider the birth of our Savior?

4. Go Tell It on the Mountain was the third song we looked at.  This carol was used to save Fisk University from closing as the Work brothers took the song out to the people.  In this carol, we find the inspiration to go out and tell people the good news.  Do you have good news of great joy to share with people today?  (Romans 5:1)

5. Like the angels in verse 14, we have reason to praise God today.  Jesus has come and he has promised to come again soon.  Is there someone in our life today who could use some good news?  What would it mean for us to go and tell this good news to them?

Let’s make the most of our opportunities this week to sing the Christmas carols as we seek to impact lives for God.  Let’s allow the message of the songs to inspire us and encourage us as we look forward to the Christmas celebration.  Be sure to invite people to this Sunday’s service as we finish up our look at the birth of Christ as told in the gospel of Luke.  We also have a beautiful Christmas Eve service planned for 7:00pm on Sunday so be sure and encourage family and friends to attend.

I Love the Christmas Carols

Introduction: Some radio stations have been playing Christmas music for weeks now. Many of us have our favorites when it comes to the Christmas carols. This morning we will revisit some of our favorites as we continue to look at the story of Christ’s birth in the gospel of Luke. Jesus was the focus of their praise at his birth.

I. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
What is it that makes this song special for you?

A. The choir singing.
Do you have a list of your top ten favorite Christmas carols?

B. The angels praising.
Luke 2:8-14

Luke 2:8-14
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. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

II. Silent Night.
What images come to mind when you hear this song?

A. The angel appeared to them.
Matthew 28:2-4

Matthew 28:2-4
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

B. The angel spoke to them.
Mark 16:6

Mark 16:6
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

C. The angel inspired them.
Genesis 16:11

Genesis 16:11
The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery.

III. Go Tell It On The Mountain.

What message is the composer trying to communicate in this song?

A. We have received good news today.
Romans 5:1

Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

B. We have reassurance of God’s presence today.
John 14:18

John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

C. We have reason to praise God today.
Hebrews 1:6

Hebrews 1:6
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Conclusion: Christmas carols are a wonderful tradition when it comes to retelling the story of our Savior’s birth. So many of these songs remind us of the good news of great joy which has been passed down to us today. The world could use some good news these days; so let’s get out there and let people know that Jesus is coming soon.

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