Truth of Christmas – What is? | Christmas with a Difference
Let’s set the scene.
It’s dark. It’s cold. The sky is clear, and you can see the stars above you, but as a result, the air is crisp and fresh.
You’re standing on a hillside, huddling closer around a fire with your colleagues, in an attempt to keep warm. Sort of picture penguins grouping together, and how they rotate who is on the outside. Just this time, the people on the outside are looking outwards, watching out over the hillside.
Suddenly, those who were starting to doze off awake with a start. There’s this strange, ethereal blinding light radiating from the sky, and there’s a rapid scramble to get to your feet.
“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” (Luke 2:10)
I don’t know about you, but if some bright light appeared from nowhere and spoke out into the cold night, I’d be terrified.
In a roundabout way, I’m trying to describe the Shepherds from the cold night over 2000 years ago. I think what’s important to remember, is that the Nativity’s Shepherds are today’s outcasts. While that label is subjective, it can consist of numerous groups of people, such as the poor, the homeless, those in prison, addicts, or those with certain job status, such as bin-men.
Hang on. Don’t stop reading there.
These angels, the messengers of God, delivered the GOOD NEWS to the Shepherd FIRST. Before anyone else: before Kings, teachers or those with any kind of social status, the news was shared with the lowest of the lows.
These Shepherds were entrusted with the Good News – a truth that speaks to all, but specifically to those who the World looks down upon.
“The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognise him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12)
For many of you, it may not be hard to picture the Nativity scene. Whether you’ve been brought up with it, or have seen it on a screen, the image of the stable, star and manger can sometimes be all too familiar.
Too familiar, in fact, for us to pay proper attention to the way in which Jesus was brought into the World. Jesus, as God’s ONLY Son, deserved all greatness. Yet, he came in humility – for those who are broken, and to minister to the poor.
That first Christmas was the starting point from which any relationship with God started to change. When Jesus died 33 years later, he took on our sin, and through that, it was possible to go directly to God. Jesus was the ULTIMATE sacrifice.
That’s why you can find traces of LOVE, FAITH, HOPE and JOY throughout the Christmas story. This truth transcends above any story of Santa, Rudolph and Elves, but the story of the very first Christmas brings with it an everlasting truth. Have you heard it before? Please get in touch if you haven’t!