Needing more JOY or Peace? Join the Chorus of Angels & Shepherds! – A JOY-Filled Advent & Christmas #6

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Jesus Christ is Born -Join the Chorus of Angels & Shepherds!

Jesus Christ is Born – Join the Chorus of Angels & Shepherds!

Needing More JOY and Peace?

Do you need a message that brings MORE JOY and Peace? Join us today for the birth of Jesus and meet the Angels and the Shepherds who have a lot to share. Uniting your heart with the Angel’s Gloria and the Shepherd’s praises will help you know more JOY and peace.

Traveling to Bethlehem

Welcome to Advent JOY Podcast #6, based on my book The Joy Of Advent: Journey With The People, Events And Prayers At The First Coming Of Jesus Christ.  Today, we return to the book of Luke. There we join Blessed Mary and Joseph on their 80-mile journey to Bethlehem. When they arrive, they find it crowded with people, who like Mary and Joseph, had come at the command of Caesar Augustus.

Join us today for these points:

No Home for the Creator of Creation (Luke 2: 1-7)

  • Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, in the City of David, as prophesied by the Old Testament prophet Micah over 700 years earlier and recorded in Micah 5: 1-3.
  • Emperor Caesar Augustus, a master bookkeeper and statistician, likely wanted to keep track of his subjects and kingdom by public enrollment.
  • Joseph had to go to Bethlehem, as he was a descendant of King David. Mary went along too – she may have been required to register, or Joseph wanted her with him.
  • Bishop Fulton J. Sheen explains: Joseph “searched in vain for a place where He, to Whom heaven and earth belonged, might be born. Could the Creator not find a home in creation? …  A stable would be the last place in the world where one would have looked for Him. Divinity is always where one least expects to find it. (Life of Christ, 1958, p. 13-24.
  • Jesus, God Incarnate and the Savior of the World was born and then tightly wrapped in bands of cloth by his mother, Mary, and laid in a manger where animals ate.

The Good News (Luke 2: 8-11)

  • The angel’s message of “Good News” is summarized (v. 10-11): “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the
  • We can say with assurance that Jesus is our Savior, who delivers us from sin and makes us right with God. He is our Messiah, the anointed one who will reign as KING forever.

The Fields Outside of Bethlehem (Luke 2: 12-20)

  • Amazingly, God chooses shepherds—the little, the lowly, the less important of the world (1 Corinthians 1: 28), but also calls himself a shepherd (e.g., “I am the Good Shepherd,” John 10:11). In Ezekiel 34:12-16, God describes himself as one who “shepherds right.” He tends sheep, rescues them, leads them, gives them rest, brings back the lost, binds up the injured, and heals the sick.
  • Jesus is our Shepherd: If at times you feel “lowly,” please know that Christ is YOUR Savior and Shepherd. He came for you! You are His little lamb, and He loves you.
  • Some shepherds around Jerusalem took care of the temple lambs used in the temple sacrifices. Shepherds would wrap lambs born without blemish in swaddling cloths and place them away from the others  (e.g., Leviticus 4-5). Amazingly, the shepherds caring for the temple lambs used for sin offerings would be the first to recognize Jesus Christ, who came as our sin offering forever!

The Angel’s Gloria and the Shepherds Praises (Luke 2: 14-20)

  • We find two beautiful choruses in Luke 2:14-20. First, there’s the Angel’s “Gloria” (v. 14), which is so-called because the first word in  St. Jerome’s Latin translation is “Gloria.”
  • This song of the angels proclaims peace to a world that needs peace as we do now. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; the peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27, NABRE). The only place of true peace is in Jesus; today, we must remind ourselves of this. We can join the angels in praise: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward all.”
  • The second chorus includes the shepherds’ praises (v. 20). They praised God for the good news from the angel and the song of the heavenly host of angels. From them, we learn that praising God for His goodness is a wonderful way to evangelize and get other’s attention on our Savior.

Mary Treasured and Pondered God’s Words (Luke 2: 19)

  • Mary “treasured and pondered” these things in her heart.
  • She gives an example for us in treasuring, pondering, and delighting in the things God has revealed, especially because we have God’s Word in Scripture.

Our Response

Try to put yourself in the scenes with Mary, Jesus, the angels, and the shepherds. Then prayerfully ask:

  1. Am I praising God for sending Jesus, like the angels and shepherds did?
  2. Am I making a “manger” for Jesus in my heart, allowing Him to be my Savior and Lord?
  3. Am I receiving the true joy and peace that Jesus offers?
  4. Am I treasuring God’s Word in my heart as Mary did?

Links

Please consider hosting a weekly one-hour CUP of JOY Women’s small group. Karen provides studies and discussion questions to accompany each podcast and each series.   In February and for Lent, we will start the new series: Esther for This Time: Prayers, Reversals, and JOY.  It is an exciting podcast series about how God answered prayer and sent mighty reversals for a family, people, and nation. Click here to read about hosting a CUP of JOY Women’s small group.  For more information, email karen@wrapyourselfinjoy.com.

Free Bookmarks: You can download a Bookmark of prayer points from A Joy-filled Advent Podcast #1 at my website: WRAPYourselfinJOY.com.

More Podcasts: Check out more podcasts here!

Advent book: Click here to get a copy: The Joy of Advent: Journey with the People, Events and Prayers at the First Coming of Jesus Christ.

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