And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths 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, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2:8-14)
On Dec. 25th we stop to celebrate Christ's birth. The celebration usually has some form of singing, gift giving, reflection, etc. Thinking back through our life, we probably all have at least 1 favourite memory of this time of year.
I remember the year my family was struggling financially and were losing everything. My parents were only able to get each of us 1 gift. That gift came out of my parents love for us and I know it cost them a lot. (Though not very expensive, when times were tough financially any amount was a huge expense.)
Here, we see an angel of the Lord appear in the sky to tell these Shepherds that a Savior has been born. Think about that birth announcement: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. We get place, reason and identity. We don't get weight, length, etc. It's not a typical birth announcement.
We get a fulfillment of some OT prophesies. The entirety of the Old Testament was all leading up to this crucial point. All of history, past, present and future hinges on this event. This is THE moment. The birth of Christ changes things. We are told, He is the savior. God’s plan as foretold in the book of Genesis is now being fast tracked.
I like the oft-quoted and rarely thought about scripture in John 3:16: "For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) I say rarely thought about because we all learn this verse but rarely do we truly stop and meditate on it.
God loved us so much that He sent HIS Son to die. Jesus was born to die. He sent Him to die on the cross for your sins, for my sins. God's gift to us was His Son.
We celebrate Christmas in Dec but we should celebrate His birth year round. Easter is in the spring time but we should remember His work on the cross, His death and resurrection YEAR ROUND.
He came to die. The gift that matters was the work Christ willingly did on the cross. The gift He gave His life for. The gift that His resurrection made complete. Salvation. Have you accepted that gift?