ADVENT JOY # 6 – Join the Chorus of Angels & Shepherds!

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Needing More JOY and Peace?

Do you need a message that brings you MORE JOY and Peace? Join us today for the birth of our Savior. You will meet the Angels and the Shepherds who have a lot to teach us. In fact, united your heart with the Angel’s Gloria and the Shepherd’s praises will help you know more JOY and peace #podcast

The Adoration of the Shepherds by Domenico Zampieri

Do you need a message that brings MORE JOY and Peace? Join us today for the birth of our Savior and meet the Angels and the Shepherds who have a lot to share. In fact, 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:

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 his kingdom by public enrollment.
  • Joseph would have to go to Bethlehem, as he was a descendent 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 it be that the Creator would 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 tightly wrapped in bands of cloths by his mother Mary and then laid in a manger where animals would feed.

The Good News (Luke 2: 8-11)

  • The angel’s message of “Good News” is summarized in the announcement by the angel (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: Jesus is our Savior, who delivers us from sin and makes us right with God. He is our Messiah the anointed one who will inaugurate God’s Kingdom and reign as KING forever. He is our LORD, who has dominion overall.

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

  • It is amazing that 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, He describes himself as one who “shepherds rightly:” 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 of the 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—even in a manger (e.g., Leviticus 4-5). It’s amazing that the shepherds who took care of the temple lambs used for sin offerings would be the first to recognize Jesus Christ, the one who came as our sin offering forever!

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

  • We also find two beautiful choruses in v. 14-20. First, there’s the song (v. 14) called the Angel’s “Gloria” because the first word in in St. Jerome’s Latin translation is “Gloria.”
  • This song of the angels proclaimed peace to a world that needs peace, like we do right now. Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my 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 found in Jesus and today we remind ourselves of this. We can join the angels in praise: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will 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: 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 since we have the Word of God in Scripture.

Our Response

Try to prayerfully put yourself in the scenes and ask:

  1. Am I praising God for sending Jesus, as the Angels and shepherds did?
  2. Am I making a “manger” for Jesus in my heart as 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?

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