Welcome, Church! Now, perhaps you are trying not to think about it too much, but can you believe it’s almost Christmas? Personally, it hasn’t really felt like Christmas at all. I love the joy and the anticipation, the tradition and just the general air about the season. But this year, for me anyways, the lead up to Christmas has felt like any other day of 2020, and this has left me feeling a little disappointed. However, the Christmas story doesn’t actually have a very joyful or peaceful lead up either. Mary and Joseph faced judgment from their community, they had to travel to Bethlehem while Mary was very pregnant – this was before we had priority flight boarding for pregnant women, and the king was commissioning scholars to track down the family so that he could find out where to send his hit squad. In many ways, this story is fraught with the tension between fear and peace – and peace could not be fully accepted until Christ had been born. As we worship this morning, and as we make our way through Christmas in 2020, may we focus on the peace that Christ brings, and turn away from the fear and anxiousness that surround us.
Seasons – Hillsong Worship
In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7, ESV).
Safe Retreat – Kings Kaleidoscope
And in the same region there were shepherds out in their field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger (Luke 2:8-12, ESV).
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Sovereign Grace Music
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them (Luke 2:13-20, ESV).
All Creatures – Kings Kaleidoscope
Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on both our YouTube channel and our website, or you can find the link on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, we’ve got you covered there too! All of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. Thanks, and God bless!