The account of the very first Christmas never ceases to amaze me. One of the threads throughout the account is God’s personal interest in all people but especially the common people of the world. We see the emphasis in the selection of Joseph and Mary to be the parents of the promised Messiah. We also see it in God’s announcement to the shepherds! Many of us emphasize others leading up to the Christmas holiday, but I don’t want us to miss that Christ is about God’s personal interest in your life.
What stands out to me in the account of the announcement is that it is not how we would do a birth announcement or gender reveal party today! God was not limited to whom or how he announced the fulfillment of the long-awaited promise of the Deliverer. His announcement was not through, or to, those in places of position and power. It was not even in the City of David, the epicenter for the nation. There was no fanfare, so to speak, or fireworks to welcome God’s Son. I believe there is significance in the announcement. The significance was that this was a blessing to all people, especially the common people. It was a reminder that God was aware of the needs on an individual level. It is a reminder that what happened on that very first Christmas is for you!
Our account of the announcement of Jesus’ birth begins with, “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Luke 2:8) I want to point out the announcement was not to the political or religious classes of people. It was made to the commoners living in a small town in the remote country. God chose to reveal the greatest news in all of human history to a group of guys working grave shift (or at least a swing shift!) They were doing what they probably did every night, watch and protect the flock. I wander how many nights they spent in their careers doing these mundane tasks. Yet, it was on this night that the Lord would enter their seemingly insignificant world to change them forever. It was that very first Christmas evening.
The Angel’s announcement reminds us that Christmas is for all people. “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.” (Luke 2:10) I would emphasize that it is especially for the common people. The blessing is that through this child the obstacle between you and God, your sin, would be removed. He would go on to live a perfect life and then lay it down as the payment for each individuals sins, past, present and future. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) The savior would eventually bring national deliverance from foreign oppression, but it would happen through the transformation of individual lives.
It is my prayer that Christmas this year would become personal for you. It is my hope that you would see yourself in Joseph, Mary, the Inn Keeper, the Wisemen or even the Shepherds. The Biblical account of Christmas reminds us of God’s interest in you and individual and the difference that He will make in your life. But let’s not just keep this blessing to ourselves, just like Jesus’ gift to us, it is to be shared with others and Christmas is a wonderful time to do just that!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson