“The Heart Of The Christmas Gospel”

December 23, 2016

Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall NYC

A photo of the Living Nativity scene at the Christmas Spectacular show at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. We took this photo from a concert we attended several years ago. The show included the Christmas story along with Scripture readings and traditional Christmas hymns. Hopefully that has not changed!

“Good News” (Part 5)
“The Heart Of The Christmas Gospel”

Message Summary: This week we have considered a singular portion of Scripture that is at the heart of the Christmas Gospel. Today let us consider the heart of the message from the angel to the shepherds, “for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).

Mary with Christ1) “For today in the city of David.” This places the birth of Christ in space and time. “Today” was the time and “in the city of David” the place. We only have one physical birthday on the day we were born but each year we may celebrate that event by letting others know ‘Today’s my birthday.'”

2) “There has been born for you a Savior.” Prior to the birth of Jesus an angel assured Joseph concerning the mysterious events that were to accompany Mary’s pregnancy and unborn child, “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). What a gift our Savior is! This was the fulfillment of a prophecy made by Isaiah some 700 years earlier, “Behold, the virgin shall be with Child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name, Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

3) “Who is Christ.” Christ is the Greek word for Messiah. What these shepherds heard from the angel was the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise – their Messiah had come! Is it any wonder that they said to one another following this glorious announcement, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

4) “The Lord.” Even at His birth He is the Lord which means, “Master, Supreme Potentate”. The tiny baby in the manger’s Lordship extends not only over the universe that He created and now sustains, but over all those He redeems. Musically this is expressed in a line in the great Christmas hymn, “Christ, the everlasting Lord.” The Biblical call to faith includes a submission to His Lordship. Sadly many times the contemporary call to faith either ignores or downplays His Lordship. But Peter directed the early followers of Christ to, “set apart Christ as Lord” in their hearts and we must do the same.

5) This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” From the announcement of a supernatural visitation the angel ends his announcement with a return to the natural. They will find the divine baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. The sign is one of identity, authenticity and humility.

This Christmas, let’s resoundingly rejoice as we contemplate, acknowledge, and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Christ and Lord. When we do so it is only natural to eagerly submit our whole life to Him as our Lord.

Have a joy-filled Christmas,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the angels’ announcement to the shepherds is the same announcement heralded in the hearts of men and women, boys and girls who choose to accept Christ as their Lord, “A Savior has been born to you.” We set Him apart in our hearts from the common, ordinary things of life, for He is the Master of not only the universe, but He chooses to reign in our lives. We’re so grateful for His completed mission on earth where He was rocked in a holy cradle, ridiculed on a hostile cross and restored through His Heavenly coronation. “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!” dwell in our hearts we pray.  Amen.

DonateSpecial Year-end Financial Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information.

Make a tax deductible donation directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376

Make A DonationPlease Note: We also provide this familiar PayPal option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax-deductible receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: “brooksyne@dailyencouragement.net”

Thank you

Stephen & Brooksyne

Mount Joy, PA farmhouse 12/23/16
Mount Joy area farmhouse

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Silent Night”  Video  Herb Basso  Herb, a very colorful Italian who attended our church in New England, passed away several years ago. He had a wonderful singing voice and had great skills on the harmonica. In this version you’ll hear Herbie’s rich voice and hear him play harmonica along with violinist Elizabeth Silvia, the daughter of Bob Silvia, a longtime pastor friend who now lives in Arizona.

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.

“In Remembrance of Me” pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.  Here’s a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)

“When Christ Was Born” pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of “How Great Thou Art”. It’s a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
“O Come Let Us Adore Him”  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.  This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.

Christmas Knowledge Test

We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

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