At Christmastime, one of my richest blessings is hearing the profound affirmation from pastors of how vital and celebratory the Christmas message is. The pastors I know love their flocks and desire to help them experience God incarnate with awe and joy. They also know how subtly the typical holiday details of family togetherness, gift giving, meal planning and house decorating can smother the real meaning of the Christmas season.
Faithful shepherds watching over their flocks this Christmas will, once again, rehearse the fact that Christmas is solely about God; that Jesus Christ, God the Son, chose to come to be with us as fully God and fully man, and that this is thetruth behind this holy time of year. Wise shepherds will preach, teach and minister so as to keep their flocks from missing this simple yet profound truth.
It is this simple story that we’ve heard our whole lives that is put before us once again. The mysterious pregnancy, the difficult journey to Bethlehem, the star, the stable, the brilliant and praising host of angels and the humble cast of amazed shepherds seeing the newborn King for the first time, all wrapped gloriously within the awesome proclamation that this event, more than any other since the creation of the world, would change everything for all time.
This is the Christian message at Christmas that is to be shared. After the shepherds saw the babe lying in a manger, “they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:17) The stable scene where Jesus was born may sometimes be over-romanticized these days, but we know that this birthing place is about God fulfilling His promises by coming to us to save us.
Dear pastors, I pray for your personal enrichment, awe and joy, as you tell the Christmas story again this holiday season to your congregational flocks. It is thestory that reveals there is life in Christ and that in knowing the Christ of Christmas, we know God the Father. It is our humble privilege to share this timeless and beautiful story once again. May you know His blessed favor as you tell it this Christmas season!
I wish you and yours a very merry and blessed Christmas!