A Fitting Response to Christmas – Deric Bartlett

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Sermon Notes

Pastor Deric continues his survey of the responses to Advent with a message called “A Fitting Response to Christmas”, focusing on Luke 2:15-20. 1. Notice the related contrasts of “by night” [Luke 2:8] and “the glory of the Lord shone” [Luke 2:9], along with “fear” [Luke 2:9] and the exercise of faith by the shepherds [Luke 2:15]. What does this imply about the relationship between darkness and light [cf. John 1:5; Acts 26:18; 1 John 2:8]? How do we apply the antidote to fear [cf. Psalm 56:11; Isaiah 12:2; John 14:1]?
2. It must have been bewildering for Mary and Joseph to have to settle for humble lodgings [Luke 2:7]. However, the Baby in the manger was the specific sign given to the shepherds [Luke 2:12, 16]. How reassuring the shepherds’ report must have been for them, indicating they were exactly where God wanted them to be. How does this story reassure you in your difficult circumstances [cf. Genesis 50:20 Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:12-14]?
3. Reflect on the gospel as described in Luke 2:10-14 What do you learn about it? Who is it centred on? Who is it aimed at? Who benefits? What are its effects or results? Examine for further insights Matthew 9:35-38; Romans 1:16-17; and 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.
4. As the shining glory faded and the angelic song drifted away, the shepherds were left with a decision [Luke 2:15]. What do you learn from their response in Luke 2:15-17 that is worth imitating? Find more inspiration in Mark 3:35; Romans 1:5; James 2:14-26; and 1 John 5:1-5.
5. In Luke 2:8-20, the angel addressed a group of shepherds. What is the value of community when it comes to exercising faith and responding in obedience to God’s Word? Consult also Acts 2:42; Acts 24:23-31; and Colossians 3:12-17.
6. The angels communicated good news to the shepherds [Luke 2:10], who in turn shared the good news with others [Luke 2:18, 20]. What does this pattern reveal about living as an everyday missionary who shares the faith? Meditate on Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; and 2 Timothy 4:5 for more motivation.
7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?