The Characters of Christmas: The Shepherds

TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY

Good news.

Doesn’t your heart do a happy dance when you hear that phrase?

For me, this year started out with a lot of bad news. My husband was diagnosed with lymphoma. A friend of mine lost her battle with lung cancer. Life seemed to be one long string of bad news.

But in the middle of the year things started to turn around. My husband, John, responded well to chemotherapy and we rejoiced when his oncologist gave us the good news that he is officially in remission. Then my daughter shared the happy news that she and her husband are expecting baby number four. And the cherry on top was the news that my daughter and her family are taking an a sabbatical from their work in China and will be here in the U.S. for six months.

Lots of good news!

I bet the shepherds near Bethlehem on that Christmas night felt much the same way. The whole nation of Israel had been groaning under Roman rule. They were tired of seeing foreign soldiers in the streets. They were tired of obeying a ruler who lived far away. Life seemed like a long string of bad news.

So when the angel announced that he had good news for them, he immediately had the shepherds’ attention:

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. (Luke 2:10-11)

THE shepherdsThe shepherds didn’t wast any time in going to see what all the good news was about. They raced to Bethlehem to see the baby and immediately told other the good news (Luke 2:17). They praised God for all they had seen and heard (Luke 2:20).

As I think about the shepherd’s response I am humbled. 

You see, the good news they received did not immediately change their financial situation. Sharing the good news probably gave the their 15 minutes of fame, but it didn’t get them wealth or power.

Still, they realized that this was the best good news and so they told others and praised God.

I, on the other hand, may not always be exuberant about spiritual good news. I can’t wait to tell everyone the happy news that my grandchildren are coming for Christmas, but I may be timid about sharing the best news of Jesus coming for Christmas. I may be brave about talking about my new book, but may be timid about talking about the new life I have in Christ.

So this Christmas I’m praying that I will be more like the shepherds–rejoicing in the best news ever!

This Christmas rejoice in the best news ever--Jesus Christ is born! Click To Tweet

Jesus Christ is born! We are rescued from sin and death! In Christ we have life and peace! We are welcomed into God’s family. 

Next step: I would love to hear your good news! Share any good news you received this year in the comments below. And think of one way you can share the best news of all this Christmas!