But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. – Luke 2:10 NIV
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The lamb of God for the once and for all sacrifice to save the world from death resulting from sin had just been born and the Almighty God had chosen to announce his arrival to the world through humble shepherds in the field via the angel (Lk. 2:8-20) and the wise men who were able to interpret the star they saw in the skies – Matt. 2:1-12. The scripture today is the announcement of the angel whose manner of appearance seem to have scared the shepherds. This is understandable, after all appearance of angels to men is not an everyday affair.
Having encouraged them to not entertain fear, the angel informed them of his mission. He had brought them good news that will bring great joy to all people. The saviour of the world from spiritual death had been born in the town of David called Bethlehem. That information was also going to bring great joy to all people. The angel was immediately joined by the host of angels, worshipping and singing praises to God and congratulating those who were going to receive this favour of the Almighty God – Lk. 2:13-14.
The shepherds reacted to this news immediately by taking a decision to go to Bethlehem to visit the baby and after seeing the baby and meeting with Joseph and Mary, they too went out spreading the good news to all people testifying to the greatness of the Lord – Matt. 2:15-20.
Just as the Psalmist wrote, even the heavens were part of the dissemination of this news when they appeared in the skies to declare the glory of God – Matt. 2:2; Psa. 19:1. They too had heard about the good news and had refused to keep it to themselves alone. They announced it in their own way and the wise men got their message.
The wise men also heard the message and equally decided not to keep it to themselves. Not only did they put in successful effort to visit him, they also brought him gifts. In their own manner of appreciation, they announced his arrival, worshipped him and offered their tokens of appreciation to the Almighty God – Matt. 2:10-12.
King Herod also heard the news through the wise men that came seeking information on how to locate the new king that was born. Courtesy demanded that they visit the palace of the paramount ruler as strangers, before conducting inquiries within the town. Like all those who previously heard, he too indicated the intention to visit this great joy to the world, whom the wise men described as king (Matt. 2:7-8), except that his intention was completely different from those of the previous groups – Matt. 2:16. His intention was to kill the baby whom he had immediately considered a threat. How are you reacting to the good news about the Saviour that got to you?
Today, people are reacting in several ways but only very few are reacting in the same manner as the host of angels, the cosmic beings, the shepherds and the wise men. Some are actually reacting in the same manner as king Herod, which is to diminish and possibly kill him, even though in their case, it may not be intentional.
Christians will continue to be seen as people who are representing Jesus Christ in the generation that they lived or are living in. They are expected to continue to manifest and represent the ideals and goals of the coming, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This was the case with the people that gathered in Antioch where their conduct and approach generally to life made observers describe them as Christians – Acts 11:20-21. That conduct brought more people to the fate as the people then allowed their acts to speak for them rather than their voices – Jms. 1:22-25. They could be accused of everything but their conduct was constantly their defense. They had shone their Christian light so bright that unbelievers had no choice but to notice their positive lifestyle and thus glorify the Almighty God – Matt. 5:16. That was what sustained the message of Jesus Christ.
Everyone one except King Herod came to him once they heard of his mission, they honoured and worshipped God for His great gift to mankind, and they went out declaring the glory that they had just witnessed. You have also heard the message which is why you came, but what is your life testifying after your visit. Did you come because you want to take from him or because you plan to give to him? The giving does not have to be material things at all times, indeed that may just be the least of what he is expecting from you. He wants you to honour and worship God and spread the good news to others – Mk. 16:15-17; Acts 1:5-8. That is what he wants from you and it must not be by words alone but by deeds. Yes! True and true, a son has been given to us as a sacrificial lamb waiting to be sacrificed for our sins. What are you giving back in appreciation? Do all you can to appreciate God for all his goodness to mankind by honouring and worshipping him – Psa. 107:8. He truly deserves it. May God grant us the Grace to bring worship and honour to Him in Jesus name. Amen.