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Your Full Attention

... and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them
Luke 2:16-21

Sermon Topic New Year

Sermon Week Octave of Christmas Cycle B

Scripture Summary Luke 2:18


A man was driving through farm country when, to his horror, he saw a farmer striking his mule with a big stick. The outraged man stopped his car and began to lecture the farmer on the subject of kindness to animals. The farmer listened patiently, then replied, "I love this animal. I feed him plenty, give him a good barn to sleep in and, on cold nights, I put a blanket over him." "I don't understand," said the man. "If you love him why were you hitting him with that stick?" The farmer smiled and said, "He's a stubborn old mule, hard to budge. He'll get plenty of affection, but first I have to get his attention."

God is constantly working in our lives to get our full attention. He wants us to draw near to Him. He wants us to experience the wonder of His infinite love. Moreover, He wants us to do something about it. He wants us to follow the example of the shepherds in today's Gospel Lesson.

Today's Lesson begins at a point where God has captured the full attention of some shepherds who were "keeping watch over their flock": ordinary men doing their ordinary, routine work. The "Glory of the Lord had shone around them," filling them with awe and wonder, Luke tells us. An angel of the Lord had spoken to them, saying, "Behold, I bring you Good News of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day ... a Savior, who is Christ the Lord ... Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased" (Lk. 2:10-11,14). When the angel had gone 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 Babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all [...]

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