We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Hannah Puder.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Darkness, once again, covered the face of the earth.
At the time of Christ’s birth, the Roman Empire had conquered much of the known world. Many of the conquered nations, though benefitting from the economic and social benefits of their conquerors, sacrificed their individual freedoms and way of life.
Rebellions were common, but easily squelched by the imposing military might of the Roman army. They sought hope and freedom, but found none.
The earth yearned for a Savior: it remembered the trembling of its foundations at the dawn of time, when the Trinity spoke into the abyss and declared “Let there be Light” (Genesis 1:1-3).
In Luke 2, we see the fulfillment of a promise of hope and the faithfulness of Christ’s nature. In a moment of despair and darkness, He stepped into the messiness of humanity to become the Light of the world.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NIV).
On the night of Christ’s birth, the earth again trembled, knowing that freedom had come as the angel proclaimed a message of hope: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (v.10)
That message of hope still rings true today. In our moments of darkness, doubt, and fear, Christ is the eternal Light. He desperately seeks to heal the broken hearted and set the captive free (Isaiah 61:1).
May we embrace the spirit of hope this Christmas season, and like the shepherds, share the Good News of the Gospel with those around us (v.17&18).
Heavenly Father, thank you for the hope we find in the birth of Jesus Christ. Thank you for loving us so deeply that you sent your Son as a Light that now illuminates the darkness of our hearts (John 3:16-21). Give us boldness to share the Good News with those we interact with on a daily basis – our friends, family members, co-workers, gym buddies – for it is the Power of the Gospel that brings salvation (Romans 1:16). In the name of Jesus, Amen.
This holiday season, take 5 minutes to pray and ask the Lord to use you as a light in someone’s life. Do people you work with, hang out with, know that you are a Christian? Christmas is a beautiful time of the year to share the Gospel with others who otherwise may not be open to hearing about Jesus.
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