Luke 2:8-14 – The Songs of Advent – The Angels’ Song

Before we can make the message known, we must first know the message. What then, is the message of Christmas? Let me give you the message of Christmas quite literally from the mouth of an angel, “today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk.2:11).
This is no ordinary birth. This is the birth of the Christ child. This is the Incarnation of the eternal Son of God. So what’s the occasion? Is God becoming man a part of some heaven to earth public relations strategy? No, it is not. We learn from the angel’s message that God becoming man is a rescue mission. The angel tells us that “there has been born for you a Saviour”.
The message the angel delivered that night was indeed good news. So glad a message was it that it could not be spoken by a solitary voice. After the one angel had made the message known to the shepherds, a band of them appeared to sing their anthem, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased” (v.14).
And how did the shepherds respond? Luke records that they “began saying to one another, ‘Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger” (v.15, 16).
Looking at our Bible text, I see two things that go hand-in-hand with God-produced joy: Worship and witness. The angels, in their joy, sang “Glory to God in the highest”. The shepherds, in their joy, “went back (to their fields) glorifying and praising God” (v.20). For the angels and the shepherds, joy and worship went hand-in-hand. The second aspect of God-produced joy is witness. You will notice in this text that joy in the birth of Christ belongs to those who tell it to others.
The angels had a message to tell to the shepherds and this brought them joy, and caused them to sing. And when the shepherds found their way to Mary and Joseph, we read that when they saw the baby Jesus, “they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child” (v.17).
True joy, God-produced joy, cannot be silenced. The angels and the shepherds were compelled by their joy to make the message known. They wanted the world to know that “today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”
I, too, want to remind you of this great truth. I, too, desire that you might share in this joy–a joy produced by God, a joy that cannot be extinguished by unfavourable circumstances. Nothing can change the fact that Jesus the Saviour was born–and He was born to set you free from your sins. As Charles Wesley’s hymn reminds us, “Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King'”. Amen.

Bryn McPhail

Read Luke 2:8-14 and note the marvelous reasons for which the angels and shepherds both worship and witness. Is there a God-produced joy in your life overflowing in worship and witness during this season? If not, in what ways can you turn your focus afresh to Jesus from whom this joy comes?

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear by Edmund H. Sears

Posted on: December 11, 2020 - 12:00PM

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