Long ago, amid a brutal ruler, governmental systems of oppression, crooked financial systems, religious systems of rules, broken down familial systems, came news of a different sort. It wasn’t news for Christians, for there was no such thing. It wasn’t news for law-abiding Jews; it spread beyond their tribe. It wasn’t news for the rich, much to their dismay. In fact, this news first was told to the lowest of the low… the shepherds, the dregs of society, the disgrace of their families. Yes, it was this very group of outcasts, those tending to their flocks in wily fields among wolves, who were greeted by an angel (Luke 2:10-11):
Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
The shepherds set off to find the sign: a defenseless baby Jesus lying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. When the shepherds laid their eyes on the good news of goodwill toward all people, this unlikely band of smelly shepherds became good news bearers. They shared the good news that God in flesh had come to live among them. This Christ was a sign of peace! A light for all people! Glory among them! Those who heard, welcomed this news from strangers, marveled by it.
Today, amid brutal rulers around the world, governmental systems of oppression, crooked financial systems, religious systems of rules, broken down familial systems, comes news of a different sort. It isn’t news for Christians, it spreads far beyond their tribe. It isn’t news for law-abiding people; grace spreads wider than goodness. It isn’t news for only the rich, much to their dismay. In fact, this good news is for all people. Short and tall. Skinny and fat. Poor and rich. Every age. Every color. Every race. Every religion. Every political affiliation. Good and bad.
It is the good news of a Savior
who comes to free our oppression,
to love us where we are,
to heal our wounds,
to weep with our pain,
to adopt us as his children,
to carry our worry,
to give us rest as pure gift,
to act on injustice,
to challenge ways not of God,
to forgive our shortcomings,
to sacrifice Himself for our benefit,
to show us how to stay in communion
with God, enemy and neighbor,
and to keep hope aflame.
The good news of Christ is here for us today.
The good news of Christ reigns beyond earthly systems.
The good news of Christ upholds hope, love, joy and peace.
Can we welcome this good news and marvel in its abundance?
Can we receive Christ’s goodness and pass on His delight?