Week 9 | Sections 10,11
Jesus’ birth and the praise of the angels is the core content for every Christmas pageant. Children don their woolly ears or carry a staff and a baby is shown as candles glow and cherubs with cardboard wings sing silent night.
Our story today is similar but so much more glorious than we can imagine and more dirty than we care to think. Ah the humility of Christ, God incarnate, born from Mary’s womb to be held in the arms of shepherds and wise men – and to take residence in the soul of every believer.
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Luke 2:1-7 | Section 10
1 Now in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius1 was governor of Syria. 3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to David’s city, which is called Bethlehem,2¯3¯4 because he was of the house and family of David; 5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant. 6 While they were there, the day had come for her to give birth. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.5
Luke 2:8-20 | Section 11
8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.6 9 Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. 11 For there is born to you today, in David’s city, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.” 13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude7 of the heavenly army praising God, and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.” 15 When the angels went away from them into the sky, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough. 17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. 18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.8
- Why would people not make room for a pregnant woman? Could it have something to do with the prophesies? What do you make of that?
- Why do you think God would have the angels appear to the shepherds? It would have been just as effective to appear to the towns people? What message might be in this decision and how is the same seen in the life and ministry of Jesus?
- Talk about how these shepherds received news that this baby is the Messiah and then went out and told people and how you and your friends first responded to the idea of a Savior, the Messiah, the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the divinity of Jesus?
- Talk about the feeling of adoration when you see a new born and the feeling of adoration in worship.
Shepherd king, worship, salvation for all, value everyone, patience, prayerful pondering.