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 Christ the Lord.”
All across the world today and tomorrow, people are gathering together to celebrate Christmas. Which means yesterday all across the world, preachers were preparing their Christmas messages. Neither pastors nor worshipers have a particularly difficult job because Christmas is both easy to preach and a joy to celebrate.
I suppose that if a preacher wanted to get creative, he could go for many years without repeating his Christmas message. The account of what happened 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem offers many different topics to speak about. One might choose to focus on Mary or Joseph and their roles in the nativity, or on the humble conditions in which Jesus was born, or the appearance of the angels, or the evangelism efforts of the shepherds, or the star in the sky.
But when I say that Christmas is easy to preach, I’m not talking about the variety of topics available. And when I say that Christmas is a joy to celebrate, it’s not because of all the parties, good food, and getting together with family and friends. As wonderful as those things are, there’s only one detail in the nativity scene that’s worth preaching and celebrating year after year for centuries all around the world. When the angel appeared to the shepherds, shining with the glory of God, he didn’t say, “Fear not. For you will eat cookies and drink eggnog for many years to come.” Nor did he say, “Fear not. For there are some nice people who just had a cute baby boy. You should totally give your mom a call.” No, it was so much more than that. The angel proclaimed: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
The message of the birth of our Savior will only grow stale when we have no more sin left to forgive. The joy of Christmas will only fade when we take our eyes off Jesus, who left heaven to save us from death and hell.
Lord Jesus Christ, my only Savior, my heart rejoices as it remembers again the good news of your coming to save me! Amen.