The purpose of this message is to ground ourselves in the simplicity of the Christmas story. In all truthfulness, Christmas was an announcement that was given to humanity back in the beginning.
In Genesis 1, God creates, He speaks the world into existence, and it was good. Then, He breathed life into the nostrils of Adam, and he became a living being created in the image of God.
God said that it was not good for the man to be alone, so God created a woman. They are established as rulers, coequals, and image bearers of God on earth. They had a perfect relationship with each other and with God. However, they began to doubt His goodness. At the end, they rebel against God and everything we know becomes broken.
They get kicked out of the garden, but with a promise. In Genesis 3, after the fall, God in His mercy says that He will send a rescuer. This theme unfolds throughout the narrative, poetry, and history of the Old Testament.
The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi says, “the Son of righteousness will come with healing in His wings.” Then, there is 400 years of silence.
Somehow, after 400 years, the Father signals the angels, the time has come. It is time to announce the coming of the Son of God.
Luke 2:8-9, “In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”
We mistakenly view the shepherds as cuddly fellows who carried sheep around. Shepherds in those days were seen as thieves and scoundrels. They were not part of society, they were outcasts. It was this group of people that God sent the angels to announce the good news.
- It is an announcement to all those who know they are broken
For some people, this has been the hardest year. Maybe, it is your first Christmas without a loved one. Christmas is for you. You may look fine on the outside, your kids look amazing, your spouse is looking good, but deep down when you lay down at night, you have this sinking feeling, “is this all there is to life?”
There is something in you at the soul level that is screaming at you, something is off, something is broken and needs to be fixed. There is a reason for that, you were made by God, for God, on purpose and for great purpose.
There is a whole shaped vacuum in every person, and it will never be satisfied by anything other than Jesus Christ. You are completely and fully known and fully loved, that is the gospel.
- It is news, not advice
Advice is “you need to do something”, news is something that has been done. We do not do anything other than respond to this good news.
The gospel is about beholding the good news and then believing this good news. The gospel is not what you do, but what Jesus has done for you. The announcement in Luke 2 is not advice, it is news of great joy!
Luke 2:11 says, “Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
The city of David is Bethlehem. However, back then, none of them knew it. “A Savior was born for you.” If there is a Savior, that means we need saving.
The reason God dwelt among us was to grow up and die on the cross to give us life.
The hang-up for many is that they believe they are pretty good and do not need a savior. The issue is who are they comparing themselves to? When we look at ourselves through God’s eyes, we realized that we have missed the mark.
We need a rescuer, a hero to do something we cannot do for ourselves. That is the reason for celebrating Christmas. The Savior came into this world to conquer sin and death and reconcile us with God.