He Brought Good News for All
While I sat in my home office doing some computer work last Saturday, I heard an unusual squeal coming from the laundry room. Being unsure of what brought the racket on I continued with my work until my wife bolted through the door with a look of concern on her face. She quickly described what she had just encountered—a lizard (Raegan used to call them dizards!) had somehow found his way inside and was perched on the top of the washing machine! I went and took a look and sure enough, there he sat giving us both the look of confrontation.
In a short while I had the creature out in the backyard where he belonged and the day was once again saved by Papa!
Gale’s few moments of fear were real and understandable, but in comparison to what the shepherds must have experienced on the night of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, I am certain that their terrifying encounter was much greater. As Luke described some of the things that transpired when Christ was born, the Bible tells us: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified” (Luke 2:8-9, New International Version).
We read those words today with pleasure because we know the rest of the story, but had we been there at that very moment I am quite sure that even the most courageous of us would have been stricken with fear—not just a little fright like Gale had when she came face-to-face with that seven inch long lizard, but terrified; the shepherds were sore afraid. It was fearful to them because it was unlike anything that they had experienced before; it was an event that they did not yet understand.
As we celebrate Christmas, it will be in an atmosphere that is unlike any that we have known before. Without a doubt, it has been a year of uncertainty and confusion, and it has been a year of fear if we look at circumstances alone; perhaps you have even been terrified at times. But we can be grateful that we can look beyond circumstances and remind ourselves that in God’s great love for humankind He sent a Savior to make the way for us that we could never achieve through our feeble self efforts. We can find great comfort in the assurance that the angel gave to those fear-stricken shepherds who had just encountered a phenomenon that they could not explain: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord’” (verses 10-11).
After their fear subsided, they went to check it out to see if what the angel said to them was so. They found the report to be true and witnessed that the long awaited Messiah had come to earth. It was an event that was so good that they could not keep it to themselves, so they spread the word that the Savior had been born.
We have a message to proclaim—a message of hope, a message of comfort and peace, a message of eternal goodness. In a time when the people of our society are weighed down with the fears and uncertainties of life, there is comfort in the message spoken by the angel at the birth of Christ: “a Savior has been born.” Because He was born and fulfilled His mission on earth, we can trade our deepest fears for the everlasting joy and peace that He provides for all who will trust in Him.
Merry Christmas and may His good news fill your heart with peace!