This week, Pastor Ed preached for the fourth week of Advent, continuing the series, "HIS Story." We looked at the well-known passage, Luke 2:8-14, where the angels announce Jesus' birth to the shepherds.
The context of the story is important.
1. This story is set in human history.
Luke's account is far more detailed than any other history of that period. It happened in a real day, in a real city. It's not some magical kingdom.
At its core, Christianity is belief in a set of historical facts.
In Biblical times, the main issue was belief in only one God. Today a critical spiritual issue is the idea of Truth. The Bible demands that you take the details seriously.
2. This story is set in redemptive history.
-- To buy something back
-- To make something unacceptable into something acceptable.
-- To gain or regain possession of something.
God reached out to a people and foretold that He would send a Redeemer.
The birth of Jesus is the high point of God's redemptive plan.
Good news of great joy for all people.
The baby will be the Savior, a word used for God Himself.
The baby will be the Christ -- the Messiah, the promised Hero.
The angel calls the baby the Lord. In the Bible, this mainly refers to God Himself. (See Exodus 3:13-15) In Luke 2, we'd already seen "the angel of the Lord" -- but the baby will be Christ the Lord.
He's come to redeem us, just like He said He would.
3. God intends for this story to be set in our personal history.
This event invites us into something.
I bring you good news of great joy.
A Savior is born to you.
A sign to you.
Peace to you.
Their response -- the shepherds spread the word.
They go, they see, they are changed.
God doesn't want casual investigators or appreciators.
He wants people who can't wait to go, to see, and to tell.
Come this week to our candlelight Christmas Eve service at 5:00 on December 24.
Then enjoy fellowship at our end of the year brunch at 10:00 on December 27, instead of the usual service.