what did you see this morning?

(This is from last night’s Christmas Eve Service)

The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.  It was just as the angel had told them.  Luke 2:20 (NLT)

What thing had they heard?  What exactly did the shepherds see?  What Will You And I See In Just A Short Time As We Join Them Around The Manger?  Well, I’ll tell you what they saw.  They Saw What Was In Their Hearts To See.  That’s exactly what you and I are going to see this Christmas. We’re Going To See What We Are Looking For.

1.  The Angels Saw Christmas Joyfully.

The angels looked at Christmas joyfully, triumphantly, celebrating—singing  “Glory to God in the Highest.”  Why so joyfully? The angels understood–understood that this was the final stage for God’s great plan of redemption to be revealed. They had been watching, participating in the life of the patriarchs and the prophets.  All through the centuries they were waiting—now they know that the fullness of time has come.  Before—God had sent, God had spoken—But Now The Angels Know God Himself Has Come In Human Form and They See It From A Heavenly Perspective.  No wonder they shout and they sing joyfully!

2. Mary and Joseph Saw Christmas With Wonder

How could Mary and Joseph describe what were they seeing?  What they were feeling?   We talk a lot about the faith of Abraham who went out not knowing where he was going; well that faith was only a drop in a bucket compared to the faith of Mary and Joseph.  Think Of Mary’s Faith In God, to believe what she was seeing in that manger is going to be The Redeemer of all people.  Think Of The Faith Of Joseph, who believed that this was God in the face of that baby in the manger. They saw a lot of things they didn’t understand. Rather than thinking “How is this possible?”, they saw it with wonder, amazement, and adoration!

3. Simeon Saw Christmas Prophetically

He was a man who longed to see God’s Redemption.  And when Simeon thought he was going to die, The Spirit had said no, not yet.  “You Are Going To Live Long Enough To See Him.”  He goes into the temple that day and in That Moment He Sees And He Knows.  He lifts up that little bundle in his arms and holds it up towards heaven, and he said, “God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised.  With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation; it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:  A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, and of glory for your people Israel.” He saw more than just a baby. He saw A Great Light, A Light For The Gentiles, The Light Of The World!

4. Herod Saw Christmas Fearfully

The Bible says he saw it very fearfully.  He was troubled and he should have been.  Jesus Is A Threat To Anyone And Everyone Who Thinks Real Power Is Political Power.   He saw clearly what the real issue was.  He saw that this seemingly helpless baby would bring a new type of sword against everything sinful and evil in the world.  This Baby Came To Save People From Their Sins—He Came To Destroy The Works Of Satan and so men like Herod were fearful because Jesus is the ultimate threat against all forms of evil.  And how should we see it?

5. We Must See Christmas As A Person Experience

If You’re Looking For Just Enough Religion To Keep You Out Of Hell, You’ll Miss The Christ Of Christmas;

If You’re Looking For An Emotional Crutch That Will Help You Struggle Through The Tough Times, You’ll Miss The Christ Of Christmas;

If You’re Looking For An Experience That Will Give You A Warm Fuzzy Feeling Without Any Deep Commitment, You’ll Miss The Christ Of Christmas.

But, If You’re Looking For Life, Real Life—

Life That Is Full Of Purpose And Meaning;

A Life That Will Stretch You And Lead You Beyond What You Can Normally See Or Do;

A Life That Challenges Ourselves And Inspires Others—

Then You Can See And Experience What Christmas Is All About. 

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