By Bishop Jonathan Holston
“But the angel said to them, do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”—Luke 2:11
Friends, the heart of the Christmas message is that a baby was born who could change everything.
Bass Mitchell, author of “In Every Blade of Rustling Grass” says it this way,
“Babies are pure potential. They come to bring hope with them, to make a difference. Our world needs hope, needs little ones who come with such power in their hands and hearts.”
In fact, Christmas is all about Jesus coming to be with us. It is about Immanuel, God with us, looking on. It is the story of God’s love coming down to save, to restore and to forgive.
That probably is as surprising to us as it was to those shepherds who kept watch over their sheep. I am sure their minds were on other things; namely, worry about predators or their lambs getting lost. The shepherds lived a simple life, making just enough to feed their families. Therefore, when an angel appeared to them, it surprised them. It caught them preoccupied and busy with other things.
The angel’s message to these shepherds was to leave their busyness and go with haste to witness the birth of the Savior. By their kneeling before the infant Jesus, it was confirmation that something wonderful was happening in that stable and their lives. Indeed, it was a time of adoration and praise.
Even though our minds are filled with other thoughts, preoccupied with schedules and not always thinking about heavenly things, this Christmas story speaks to us today.
While we live in a highly competitive society, one that produces winners and losers, not only in sports, but also in the business world, in office settings and even in the church, we have the opportunity to let God come and minister to us in this Christmas season. And while we live in a world that seeks and encourages personal gain, the same message delivered to the shepherds is shared with you and me. Once again, it is the story of God’s love coming down to save, to restore and to forgive. It is a message we have heard before. It is a message of hope that God is with us, looking on.
For many of us, this season will be an endurance marathon of way too much to do, way too much to eat and way too much stress.
The true blessing of this Christmas season will be to prepare our hearts to receive again the greatest gift given to humankind—the comfort, joy and glad tidings of the baby Jesus brought to earth.
That is really good news!