“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.” – Luke 2:1-18 (NRSV)
Every day it seems there is some kind of important announcement being made in today’s world. Politicians announce new tax programs or law changes. Retailers announce important upgrades to their products. Friends and family announce graduations, marriages, and births. Many of us dread hearing these announcements. So much of the hype in these kind of announcements tends to fall short and not meet our expectations, but not this announcement. Not this one! Of all the important announcements that have ever been made, this was it! The announcement by the angels to the shepherds one night over 2000 years ago was the most important announcement made for all mankind.
The message shared with the shepherds wasn’t just for them, it was and still is, a message for all people. The announcement made a personal impression on the shepherds. They overcame their fear and responded by going to see what God had done. Then they went and told others what they had seen and what they knew about Jesus! They became evangelists – announcing the good news of Jesus Christ!
The announcement the shepherds heard is a message that continues to be told today. Everyone who hears it is offered the opportunity to respond individually and personally to a God who loves them -individually and personally. God is still inviting us to respond to what we have seen and what we know about Jesus.
When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
People needed to hear the good news of Jesus Christ then and they need to hear it now. It’s not enough for us to just listen to the announcement. How is God calling you to respond to what you have seen or know about Jesus?
May your heart hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, and may you share that good news with someone who also needs to hear it.