Some of you reading this article will be familiar with the expression, ‘Jesus is the reason for the season.’ He is the message of Christmas. Some two thousand years ago a group of shepherds who were simply going about their routine business were guarding their sheep by night, when they were struck by an awe-inspiring combination of sight and sound. They heard and saw something that had never before occurred in the history of mankind. They heard news of the fact that God had come from eternity into time.
The appearance of the angel was sudden, accompanied by a brilliant light of God’s glory which surrounded them. They were terrified. The angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, I bring you good news that will bring joy to all people. The Saviour, yes, the Messiah has been born today in Bethlehem, the City of David.”
The angel goes on to tell them the sign by which they would recognise the child. The one angel was then joined by a vast array of the hosts of heaven, singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth to all those with whom God is pleased.’
The first thing we note is that the shepherds saw an angel of the Lord. Secondly, they were enclosed by the radiance of God’s glory. The sight made them afraid, but that fear was calmed by the reassuring voice of the angel. In addition to the sight, they heard a sound which was two-fold. One was the voice of the angel, telling them the good news, the Good News of the birth of the Saviour of the world; the Lord whose name is Jesus. The second phenomenon was the fact that the one angel was joined by the vast host of others, who were singing a song of praise to God and at the same time making a proclamation of peace to the whole earth.
The shepherds heard. The shepherds saw but they didn’t stop there to simply ponder on the news. On the contrary; they went to look for the child. They went and saw the baby Jesus.
The story of Jesus is the Good News that we are reminded of every time we celebrate Christmas. Jesus is the Good News of Christmas. It is Good News for all of humanity. It is the wonderful news that God loves us and does not want us to die in our sins and because of that He sent Jesus – Saviour, Messiah and Lord – to be born, to live, and to die for our sins; so that we might have everlasting life. Jesus is Good News.
The shepherds heard the singing, they heard the announcement; they saw the light and they went to see Jesus. They glorified God for all that they had seen and heard. What about you? What is your response?
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2013©
If you have read this article and you are not a Christian, I would like to invite you to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord in your life by praying this prayer:
‘God in heaven, I acknowledge that I am sinner and deserve to be punished for all the wrongs I have done. I am truly sorry. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this world. I believe He lived, died and rose again for my sins. I repent of all past sins and ask you to forgive me because Jesus. I confess and ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Saviour and Lord. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey you and lead me to follow you all the days of my life. Thank you God for giving me eternal life through your Son Jesus; Amen!’