Friday, January 02, 2015

The Shepherds Responses.

In Sunday school a few weeks ago, I taught a lesson based on Luke 2:8-20.  This is the passage that describes the angel appearing to the shepherds and the shepherds response.  The material talked about three responses the shepherds made:

  1. Fear – verse 9:  Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were terrified.  Why were they afraid?  No doubt that an angel appearing would be frightening, but what else? We often talk about the fear of God; what does that mean? The material talked about thinking of the word "fear" as reverence.  We should have a reverence for God.  That response isn't fear in the normal way we think of the word. A couple of questions to consider:  First, how can fear separate us from God?  Secondly, how can we increase our sense of awe in life?  How would that change your approach to each day and each interaction with the world and the persons around you?
  2. Joyful honor – the author of the student book asks us to imagine what it must have been like to be sent from God to bring the news of the incarnation of Jesus.  We have the joyful honor of bringing God’s light to the world.  Have you ever experienced that?  Have you ever met someone who walks into a room and brings with them light?  They demonstrate what the author calls “angel joy” – the honor of bringing Good News.  Question:  Who do you know who possesses that lightness of spirit and sense of honor in bringing joy?  Have you told them that about themselves?  How can we do this more?  
  3. Grateful response – verse 20 – The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.  Is it difficult to share the good news of the joy and wonder of Jesus birth with others?  Why is that?  How can we share this good news?  What can we do this week to make sure this glorious message is shared?  It is a joy, not a burden – how can we make it so?

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