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. 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.”
Last night my wife reflected on all the bad news in the headlines.
“Irate Woman Destroys Perfume Display in Store.”
“Priest Tells Congregation, ‘My Advice to Poor is to Shoplift.’”
“Mom Calls 911 Over Son’s Video Game Habit.”
“Teen Stabs Man With Ice Pick Over Parking Spot.”
“Atheists Unveil Anti-God Ad Campaign.”
That’s just a few of the stories of the day. You get the picture. Throw in the health care and global warming debate, the celebrity scandal of the day, North Korea nukes, and Russia, Russia, Russia. Negativity and bad news abounds.
As newspapers experience decline in readership, and TV news battles to stay afloat, we can expect news stories will become even more sensational, salacious, and bizarre.
The world into which Jesus was born didn’t have access to 24-7 news at the touch of a button, but there was an abundance of bad news.
In today’s focus text from the Nativity, we are told of “shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” They were the lowest among the cultural and economic classes and struggled under the oppressive rule of Rome. They, like us, were hungry for — some good news.
Then, out of the darkness, appeared a great light, “the glory of the Lord shone around them.” Naturally, they were terrified by this spectacle.
Then they heard the voice of an angel. God had their undivided attention. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
The most wonderful, positive, good news of all time was about to be announced. Powerful life-changing news for all generations; news so good it would produce great joy to be celebrated forever.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…” Suddenly all the threatening, negative, frightening news of their day was swept away by the announcement God had sent help and hope. “A Savior” had been sent to them and “to all the people.”
God had promised through the prophets to send a deliverer. Now, the long expected Messiah, the “Christ,” had come to save them from the destructive forces of their world.
And it was to poor shepherds this news was first given. God’s compassion and love isn’t just for the religious or social elite.
So, what’s the bad news that troubles you today? What burdens weigh upon your heart?
No matter how vulnerable you may feel as you face the dangers and uncertainties of your day, you have “good news that produces great joy.”
Jesus came to save. Help is already here and available at this very moment. Take your eyes off the bad news and turn your heart and mind toward the good news, “Christ the Lord.”
For more on this topic, check out this article: Jesus Saves and Keeps You Saved
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.