Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11
At the time when Jesus was born, life for shepherds was hard. Their days and nights were spent in the dreary routine of taking care of sheep. Society looked down on them as lowlifes and scoundrels. They had little reason to be joyful.
But shepherds were the ones to whom the angel brought the good news that would cause great joy: A Savior had been born! It was God’s way of saying that he identifies with the down and out, the outcasts of society, the undesirables. And on that night, whatever darkness they were facing was transformed into the most beautiful light they’d ever seen, as the angels of heaven joined in singing, “Glory to God in the highest.” For those shepherds out in the fields of Bethlehem, life would never be the same.
Perhaps in this Christmas season, you are finding it difficult to feel joy. Perhaps there will be an empty chair at your table. Perhaps you’re thinking about a family member who has turned away from the Lord or is no longer a part of your life. Perhaps you have been diagnosed with a terrible illness. Whatever the reason, you don’t feel like celebrating.
If so, the Christmas message is for you. There is good news with great joy also for you. Why? Because the Savior came to make things right. He came to heal the brokenhearted, to bring light into your darkness.
Think and pray
God sees you. He hears you. He is a refuge in times of need, a comfort to those who are struggling, and the Redeemer of all that is broken. In Him we have peace. Though in the world we will have hardship, we take heart because He has overcome the world!
Father in heaven, help us to catch a glimpse of the light the Savior came to bring. We ask this in his name. Amen.
Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.