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Four Christmas Messages

Four Christmas Messages

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Published by glennpease
BY GEORGE HODGES

" And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the
field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo,
the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of
the Lord shone round about them." — St. Luke ii. 8, 9.
BY GEORGE HODGES

" And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the
field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo,
the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of
the Lord shone round about them." — St. Luke ii. 8, 9.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 08, 2014
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03/08/2014

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FOUR CHRISTMAS MESSAGES
BY GEORGE HODGES " And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them." — St. Luke ii. 8, 9. They were the first of all the Christmas congregations. That day an angel preached the sermon, and a choir of angels sang the an-them. And they listened, these simple shep-herds, standing amongst their sheep. JSTobody else was there. Many Christmas sermons have been preached since then, but none like that. Year by year we sing the Christmas anthems, but not to that celestial music. Though I believe that the obscurest preacher, setting forth in halting speech the blessed Christmas Gospel, if his heart be filled with holy love for God and man, is as pleasing to the Eternal Father as the angel of the Lord was at the beginning ; and the humblest chorus in the smallest church, singing out of time and tune a
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Christmas hymn with honest gratitude and  joy, make a sound as sweet to the ear of God as was ever heard when the morning stars sang together. 45 46 THE BATTLES OF PEACE. So simple was the sermon that the peasant congregation understood it, every word ; yet so profound that we to-day, after all these centuries of prayer and study, have not learned the last of its great meaning. The im-portunate question which was in the heart of every hearer, the highest and deepest of all questions for them and for us, the longing to be sure of God, the sermon answered and sat-isfied. The most remarkable quality of the sermon is that it was new. It was a new Christmas sermon. N'o man can preach that sort of sermon now, unless he preaches to the heathen. I can say nothing which you do not know already. What we need to-day is not
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information ; we know enough. If knowledge could save us, we would be safe indeed, to all eternity. The trouble is that we do not realize enough. But to that Christmas con-gregation in the Bethlehem pasture it was all blessedly new. We are just at the end of the year nineteen hundred and such-and-such ; they were just at the beginning of the year one. That very night the Lord of Life was born. There He lay, where the lights of the village shone across the fields. The preaching angel pointed with his hand. Thus the sermon ended ; and the anthem followed, translating all its truth into great A CHRISTMAS CONGREGATION. 47 music, heavenly choirs taking it up, repeating it, glorifying it, turning it into praise and adoration. The anthem was appropriate to the sermon. But the congregation — what shall we say of them ? Let us leave the ser-mon and the anthem to preach and sing their
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