December 13, 2015
Advent Week Three: Proclaiming Christ’s Arrival
Advent Guide 2015
Season: Advent Article by Athens Church
Excerpt taken from “Athens Church Advent Guide”
For nine long months a father and mother wait excitedly as the birth of their child approaches. Beaming with joy in their faces, the expectant couple will probably share the news with family, friends, and anyone in sight. The first time they see their baby on an ultrasound, the first time they hear the rhythmic beat of the babies heart, or the first time they feel a kick from the baby will make them more and more excited for the day their sweet bundle arrives.
God, like an expectant father, could not help but shout the good news of the arrival of His promised son. After waiting many long years, Christ was here! God sent a large choir of angels to proclaim praises of worship and announce the birth of His one and only Son.
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” – Hebrews 1:6
If on that night you were to arrive at the stable where Christ was born and saw the helpless babe lying in a feeding trough, wrapped in cloths, you might be tempted to think that this baby was not the true Son of God. No king is born in a manger or wrapped in cloths. But then, just as doubt would start to settle into your heart, God would send a multitude of angels to worship Him and to celebrate the work He has done. At that moment, you would know that you have indeed found the true King, the only King worthy to be worshipped by a multitude of angels.
While God used a crowd of angels to send the good news of His Son to the world, He also used a group of smelly, nobodies — shepherds. At the time of Christ’s birth, shepherds were seen as a despised class, unreliable, and untrustworthy. But God chose them to be the first hearers of His good news and to send the message of Jesus to the world. As we see in the story, the only response of an unworthy person who has been shown grace from God is to praise Him and share with others the grace they have been given.
In the story of the birth of Christ, we are the shepherds. We, a group of undeserving people, get to share in the joy of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and share His story with the world. As believers, we do not share the story of Christ from a distant, far off perspective but as ones who have been brought near by the grace of God. We get the privilege of sharing the joy of Christ with others because we get to experience full joy in Christ ourselves.
Who first shared the good news of the gospel with you? Reflect back on moments in your life you specifically remember hearing the gospel, and think back to your response.
Why do you think the Lord chose the shepherds to be the first heralds of His good news?
Who are some people in your life the Lord has put on your heart to share the good news with?
What fears are holding you back from sharing the gospel? How can you silence those fears?
Thank God for the way He chooses people like us to come into His family and know Him. Ask for wisdom in the gospel, whether this is your first time, or your 1000th time hearing it. Pray that this would impact the way you live your daily life and the way you think about sharing the gospel.
The Advent Season
Advent is from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival,” and it refers to the coming of Christ. It is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s first advent, and our anticipation of His second. Our waiting isn’t simply a moment in between moments, but it is a time that God uses to grow and shape us into the people He has created us to be. We have provided a Advent page full of resources as we consider this Advent season.