Christmas Announces Good News for All People // Luke 2: 10
"I got the job!" "She said, 'yes!'" "The offer was accepted!" "We shipped!" "Closed the deal!" "Dissertation done! I'm graduating!" "We're pregnant!" "The PET scan was all clear!" Good news is hard to contain! When we receive good news we instinctively want to share it; we say "behold! Look at what has happened!" The angels of Luke's Christmas narrative burst into human reality with such power, excitement and energy to announce Jesus' birth! Good news of great joy which will be for all people!
Wait. Isn't Jesus a Jewish messiah? How is this good news for all people? The angels announcement turns another page in the great sweeping story of redemption for all mankind. Long before Mary and Joseph there was a man; Abraham, it is to him that God bound himself in a promise to provide land, children innumerable and blessing that would impact the nations. This arrangement between God and Abraham is known as the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12: 1-3). Mary (Jesus' mother) and Zacharias (John the Baptist's father) both reference this covenant when they praise God for the provision of the Messiah that was to be born.
The Apostle Paul linked the Old Testament promise with the New Testament reality when he wrote "The Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying 'all the nations will be blessed in you.'" (Galatians 3:8) The gospel is more than just how one gets saved - it is truly good news that spans generations, ethnic groups and nationalities reconciling God and man as well as restoring creation and bringing the Kingdom of God fully to earth. The good news is for the Jew AND the Gentile (anyone who isn't Jewish)!
This good news impacts the church today as we see glimpses of the Kingdom of God unfolding among us. We see hope in one another's faces. We see miracles of new life and the power of the resurrection as people are transformed. We see virtues like forgiveness, grace and mercy exercised in real time. We see justice when the marginalized and powerless are cared for, protected and provided for.
Go - bring good news to others with acts of mercy, kindness and grace. Bless someone this week. Ask God to put that one person on your heart and obediently meet their need, talk to them and show them the good news of the Gospel with your life. Go to those who are most unlike you. Go to those you might otherwise over look or shrink back from.
To quote Isaiah 9, the people of our time are walking in darkness (read the news if you have any doubts). Each week we light an Advent candle symbolizing the increasing day of Christ's birth (the light of the world). Go and bring light into someone's life. Invite people to share a meal, cup of coffee or walk with you. Build conversational relationships into which you can share God's Word with your family and friends. Invite them to worship with you. Invite them to see what Christmas is all about. Behold! You have the good news and it's for everyone! Share it!