In the story of the Nativity, God gives the gift of joy to the shepherds. Joy is a feeling of well-being that we’re able to sustain even in a challenging circumstance. That’s because whatever caused it seems bigger than what’s happening with us. In the story of the Shepherds on Christmas, we see just such a situation. The shepherds are people on the fringes of society. They feel excluded from the religious life of Israel and viewed with suspicion. Yet God chooses them to be the first to hear the good news. They experience joy because the angel’s visit shows that God is for them.
The angel tells them the saviour is the Messiah (the anointed king from the line of David) and Lord (God incarnate). Jesus is God in the flesh who knows and understands our struggles first-hand. We draw joy from the fact that God is with us.
As those who experience God’s favour and presence, we must tell others because God is in us, empowering us to reveal his love and character to the world. Jesus brings joy, and if we are like him, our lives should too.
Questions for Reflection
- Have you ever been on the outside of a group? how did that make you feel?
- When you’re going through a difficult time, do you find it helpful to be with someone who has been through a similar experience?
- If you believe God’s favour is present to everyone and that his favour extends to all, how does that affect the way you interact with people outside the church?
Other Sermons in This Series
More Advent Resources
Get more advent resources at the Be In Christ Church of Canada’s Advent page.