And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8-11 (KJV)
Most of us dread the announcement time during church and find that time to be dull and boring, but this announcement that was given to the shepherds was anything but boring. The following are four reasons why the announcement to the shepherds is an exciting announcement for them and for us:
1) It is personal. The angels announced, “unto you,” to the common shepherds. The fact that God revealed the gift of Jesus to simple shepherds should be a comfort for all of us ordinary people. Paul suggests a possible reason in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, which tells us that God chooses the humble things for grand purposes, and ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Today, centuries after the shepherds heard this heavenly declaration, the message is still personal.
2) It is universal. The angels announced that this savior was given “to all people.” The message of Christmas is still an evangelistic message to be given to all people around the world. While some of us might still struggle with the sin of racism, Peter declared in Acts 10:34-35 that God is no respecter of persons. Today, through missions, we still get to play a role in sending the message of Jesus all over the world.
3) It is timely. The angels declared that the savior was born “this day.” The birth of Jesus on earth fulfilled Bible prophecy and had been planned before the world was even created. It is fitting that every Christmas, Christians spiritually celebrate the birth of Jesus as if Christ is being born for the first time. We must encourage all to follow the blessing of the great Christmas carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, “Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.”
4) It is timeless. Last, the angels shouted that the baby born was “a Savior.” People then needed Jesus, and people today need Jesus. From now until the end of time all people need Jesus.
Have you responded to this angelic announcement? And are you playing the role of an angel today by declaring to all that there is a Savior that was born in the City of David, which is Christ the Lord?
May God bless our Christmas season with many conversations that share the hope of the Savior born in Bethlehem!
- Bro. Dave