On the day that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in a nearby field who were watching over their flocks. The heart of the message given by the angel was profound. In fact, it was then and remains today the perfect message for mankind. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
The single greatest problem in the world is the sin that separates us from a peaceful, abundant life with our Creator. The issues that are so prominent today such as disease, poverty, injustice, oppression and natural disasters are real and painful, but they are temporary. The material world and our physical bodies are merely short-term waypoints for our eternal, spiritual selves, and our eternal destination is far more important than anything that will perish or fade away. The message proclaimed that day to the shepherds heralded the arrival of our Savior, the Messiah, Christ the Lord. Jesus was born, so that He could die, so that we could live forever, saved from sin and reconciled to God.
Armed with that message, the shepherds went out and told anyone who would listen about the birth of Jesus. The gospel writer Luke reports that “all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” The shepherds had become the first evangelists, and they had success because of the power of the message. A less compelling message would have perhaps required a more prominent messenger, someone highly regarded in the community, someone with power, prestige or influence. Yet with the Gospel, the perfection of the message allows it to be delivered by the imperfect and lowly without losing any of its impact.
None of us is perfect, and we’re not angels, but think about who God used to proclaim his perfect message of our Savior, Christ the Lord. This good news was proclaimed by shepherds, fishermen, an ostracized woman who had been married five times, and even a despised tax collector. It is no mistake that the Scripture proclaims “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”, for this perfect message, no matter who delivers it, can cover up a lifetime of failure and sin and restore the beauty that lies within all of us.
This Christmas season, focus solely on that perfect message that, for us, a Savior has been born. Then share that message joyfully with others. What began with those shepherds more than 2,000 years ago continues today, with God’s people becoming God’s messengers, and bringing forth the Good News. Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her King!
Peace and blessings – Pastor Aaron