Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Dear siblings in the faith, who joyfully kneel at the manger!
What’s the best news you’ve ever gotten? The answer to that question probably depends on where a person is in life. For the youngest in our congregation, good news comes in the gift of a toy longed for and received. The high school student’s good news is the “full-ride” scholarship to the college of choice. A marriage proposal offered and accepted is the young couples’ best news ever. Husband and wife celebrate the happy news of an expected child. And so it continues with news of job promotions and family milestones – one after another. Then there’s the news that comes as we mature even more. We welcome reports of successful surgeries and medical treatments.
It’s all good news, maybe even the best news — at least for a time. How we live and long for such news. And once we have it, we live and long for more. Why is that? It’s the reality of life in this sinful world. Good news can be rather scarce and when it does come, we sometimes fail to enjoy it as we should because we’re too worried that bad news will be right on its heels.
How different is the angel’s news in Luke, chapter 2. This good news isn’t just for some people at a certain stage in life. This good news is for all people in every stage of life. This good news isn’t temporary. It isn’t conditional and it has no expiration date. Best of all, because of this good news, there are no worries. There is no bad news to spoil the angel’s message—not ever!
God’s Christmas gift of a Savior is the ultimate “good news of great joy.” For with this news comes the happiness of knowing that God is not angry with you. He forgives your every sin for the sake of Jesus who has taken your flesh and your suffering and your place under God’s judgment and earned you a place in God’s paradise. The angel’s news means that we indeed have a Savior who is with us – always, One who promises to make everything that happens in life serve our good. We, who know this news, are privileged to share it and give it to the people in our lives. Like the Christmas angel, we want to point each dear soul to Christ and to assure them that, like us, they have nothing to fear—not in life or in death.
There are some busy days ahead in the next week, but they are days filled with opportunities for us – opportunities to proclaim and celebrate the good news of great joy that is for all – a Savior is born to us. He is Christ the Lord!
In a few days the Christian Church pauses to meditate upon the Incarnation of our Lord. The eternal God took on flesh to take on our sin and our enemies. I pray that the Holy Spirit richly bless all of us as we hear the gospel message and boldly proclaim that a Savior has been given.
Immanuel, in the frenzied days ahead, relieve our stress by focusing our hearts and the hearts of those we love on a Christ-filled Christmas. Amen.