Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
It is the Christmas season again and that means different things to many people. Time with family and friends, exchanging gifts, good food, and time off from work. All of that is well and good but I want to encourage you about the power of the Gospel.
On the night Jesus was born outside of Bethlehem, the first Gospel message was preached. The angel of the Lord was the preacher and the country shepherds were the congregation. The message was the Gospel message, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Think for a moment about this. If the shepherds had not heard the Gospel message, they would not have understood anything about this historic birth. How would they have interpreted that little baby sleeping in a manger? It wouldn’t have appeared to be anything special, just another birth of a baby. Without the Gospel message preached by the angel the Christmas birth and manger scene would have attracted no attention. Without the Gospel they wouldn’t have heard about the Savior or the reason for the season. The Gospel announcement made all the difference in the world. It took the Gospel being preached and heard, the Word of God to open their understanding to make this what God intended it to be about.
The same is true today, that without the Word of God and the Gospel shining its light and proclaiming its Truth many can have a Christmas without a Christ. Without the Gospel you can miss Christmas. Many we come into contact with this Christmas season will make this nothing more than a shopping spree, party time, and vacation. We need to preach the Gospel message to open the eyes of people’s understanding to what Christmas is all about. That’s what it took for the shepherds to put the proper meaning to Jesus’ birth and that is what it will take for people in our world. God doesn’t use angels to preach the Gospel in our day, He uses us (Mk. 16:15).