How about you make it a personal mission to bring the good news that will cause great joy for all the people. The Messiah is good news. He brings great joy. He came for all the people. Wonderful. And people need that great joy today. Pass it on…
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Shepherds mind their own business. And their business is sheep. Think about their profile. The guys who would be attracted to that profession are the loners who want to be out tending a flock on the side of a mountain with their earbuds in. Podcasts… maybe the winter playlist… they’re jamming to their own beats out there. Kind of like long-haul truckers or tree planters.
And all of a sudden, an angel of the Lord appeared. Terrified is accurate. That’s what you would be. That’s what I would be. When the glory of the Lord lights up your field, you’re scared spitless. You’re thinking, “How many people make it out of these encounters alive?”
“Do not be afraid.” The angel knows they are terrified. He has seen this expression and reaction a few times before. Angels typically have to respond to fear and worship. Some people bow down to them, which is inappropriate. The angel who met John in the Revelation (22:9) corrected John when he tried to bow before the angel: “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you…”
The angel needed to calm the shepherds down so that he could get to the point: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” That’s one of the best sentences in history. Good news. Great joy. For all the people.
The Messiah is good news. He brings great joy. He came for all the people. Wonderful.
The sign of Messiah’s coming is finding him, a baby, lying in a manger swaddled up in cloths. Go! Scavenger hunt! Winner gets to hold him first! How would you have responded? Some of us would have discounted the message, however powerfully delivered. Others of us would have ran as fast as we could to find him.
The shepherds went to worship Jesus.
What are you bringing into Christmas? Is it gift-giving and Santa, Grinch-attitude, or perhaps family focus? Christmas has a lot of meaning in our world. How about you make it a personal mission to bring the good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
That’s the timeless message of Christmas.
Come let us adore him.