Phil Cox

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Coxy's Christmas Message 2008

Responding to the angels

24th December 2008

In Luke 2v8-14 we read that, at the time Jesus was being born, an angel appeared to shepherds, saying "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger".

Then a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests".

In all probability, the shepherds had never experienced much of the Kingdom of God. Of course God is at work all the time, but this was probably the first time that God had caused them to see His glory so clearly. Perhaps it was the first time that they realised God is real and active, and that He loves mankind.

If you were one of those shepherds, how would you react?

Well, this is what happened:

Luke 2v15
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Letís go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

Within the group of shepherds, there were probably a range of responses to this revelation of the reality of Godís kingdom Ė this announcement that Jesus Christ is truly the King and the Saviour.

Some may have chosen to believe that they imagined it, or they were hallucinating Ė despite the evidence.

Some may have reminded themselves of all the reasons they had been given to disbelieve in God Ė despite the evidence.

Some may have thought they were too unimportant, or too unrighteous, for God to care about them Ė despite the evidence.

Some may have wanted to worship.

Some may have wanted to investigate more.

Some may have wanted to hide from God.

Some may have feared to believe.

But they discussed it, and agreed together to go and see for themselves.

Verse 16
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

If youíve come to the realisation that God is real, that Godís love is real, that Jesus Christ came to Earth because He wants to help us, or if youíve only reached the stage of acknowledging to yourself that these things might be true, then the only rational course of action is to hurry, and search for Jesus for yourself.

Itís not enough to hear what the angels believe, or what the church believes. We need to find the truth for ourselves.

The shepherds made haste, and they found Jesus. And so can you.

Whatís slowing you down?