8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Good afternoon, friends! Greetings! It’s the week of Christmas and I hope you are ready. It is a Christmas like nonother, but shouldn’t it always be? Still, let’s get to it.
My quote for today is obviously a bible quote, but my point today is not a sermon. My point is to honor the positive message of the angels at a time when we all could use a bit of positivity.
For context, the Hebrew world of the time was pretty abysmal. The average Hebrew struggled to live, bearing the weight of the occupying Roman world. The average life was barely above that of a slave. Fear was rampant, hope was a dream, and light was hard to see anytime in the future. And in the middle of all this struggle came this angel.
We all struggle sometimes, but not like these Hebrews. Our struggles seem to be of a smaller scale than multi-generational. But in our minds we tend to escalate our struggles to magnificent proportions. And in the doing of such we tend also close the doors to hope and good news. Whether it is a loved one’s declining health, or a dead-end job, or a personal challenge, darkness seems to have an easy time winning.
But the message of the angel here appears to remind us that darkness is never permanent, and that all light needs is a crack or a crevice to break through. That’s what the shepherds experienced. They were at the right place and the right time to see the light break through the darkness of the time, the good news for all people. No one was expecting it. No one was ready. But all the light needed was a chance.
As you consider our world today maybe you are overwhelmed by the darkness. Maybe the season seems more than a bit negative. Or perhaps the barrage of news seems to defeat any hope you have. Do not be afraid. There is good news aplenty. And in my faith, good news has a name: Jesus. And I understand him to be the Christ, the Lord. And he makes the angels sing, and he can bring light to your darkness today.
Merry Christmas, friends. I won’t be with you for the next two weeks, but I’ll be back with you on Monday, January 11.