Christmas Tidings

It's crazy to me that when God was ready to announce his master plan to the world about Jesus coming to us in the flesh, in the form of a baby - some of the first people he decided to announce it to were a group of lowly shepherds near an unimportant village of the time.

Luke 2:10 says the "angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them.  They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them.  "Don't be afraid!" he said.  "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!  The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!"  Suddenly, the  angel was joined by a vast host of others - the armies of heaven - praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all who God favors" (NLT).

This was the first Christmas.  It all started with God coming down in unimaginable humility.  People like the wise men sought him from afar, while others who heard of their search - being only a few miles from where Jesus was, did not seek him.

The message the angel of the Lord proclaimed was "good news of great joy for everyone!"  As Christians, this should be our banner.  This is what we should be known for.  Later Paul writes to the early Church that when the Holy Spirit is in control of our lives we will show godly fruits of love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and self control (Galatians 5).  This is how you know if somebody is really like Jesus.  This is how you know if they are truly proclaiming the message of Christ.  Their lives should be characterized after Jesus, showing them to be people of great joy!