“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
Luke 2:10 NKJV
Christmas is upon us. Every year, we will tell the story of Christmas. We will read the story from Luke Chapter 2 again and again. We will hear Linus recite the story as to the real meaning of Christmas for Charlie Brown and the audience. The scene with the manger, the angels, and the shepherds and wise men will be acted out over and over. The story is very familiar, even to those who do not profess to be followers of Christ.
If we are not careful, we can miss key elements of the story because it is so familiar. One of those places is the announcement of the angel to the shepherds in the above verse. In this announcement we find the basic gospel story. The story is “good tidings” or good news. The gist of the good news is found in the next verse “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the LORD.” Look at those titles: Savior, Christ, the LORD.
Sometimes, we can read this story as an insider. In other words, we feel like this good news was only for those shepherds. They were the ones who got to see this baby face to face. Yet the titles of the child point to a bigger story. This child is Savior, Christ, the LORD. It was not just the shepherds who were the recipients of the good news.
Still, if we are not careful, we can see this story as exclusive to us. The announcement of the angel clears it up. The message to the shepherds is not exclusively a message to us. It is “to all people.” Think about that. When Jesus was born, He was born for all people. The good news is for all people. The cross and the resurrection are for all people. He is the Savior, the Christ, and the LORD for all people.
As we celebrate Christmas, make sure you don’t become so familiar with the story that you forget to share this good news with others. We live in a city that is 79% unchurched. That means that about 8 out of the 10 people you encounter in the malls, at restaurants, at school pageants, and at office parties have not applied the message of Christmas in their lives. They may celebrate Christmas, but they don’t acknowledge Jesus as Savior, Christ, and the LORD.
Let us take this same message that the shepherds heard from the angel and tell others about the real meaning of Christmas.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.
PS: One way we can take the good news to all people is through our Lottie Moon Christmas offering for International Missions. A good rule of thumb for your offering it to give a monetary gift to Jesus that matches the most expensive gift you will give to someone this year. All the money collected will go directly to our international missionaries.