Christmas by PASTOR JON HUIZENGA River Rock Church Luke chapter 2, verses 8-12, read: “8—And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9—An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10—But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11—Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12—This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” Retailers are good advertisers, aren’t they? God is pretty good, too. He announced the coming into the world of his son, the Son of God, in big ways. One of them is the above-described appearance to shepherds by an angel. Very striking. Very attention-getting. A comment about angels: In the Bible, the human reaction to an angel is usually that of the shepherds, fear. Our picture of angels as cute, pudgy babies with wings doesn’t quite do them justice. This angel is majestic and scary. He has to tell people “do not be afraid.” Just something to keep in mind in case you bump into one someday. More to the point, this Bible excerpt reports what God has to say about Christmas: Jesus’ birth is good news which creates joy. It is the celebration of a Savior for the world’s people. Jesus is worthy of the titles “Messiah” and “Lord.” Messiah means anointed one and refers to the earlier Bible promises that God would send this person. Lord refers to one having authority or power. If Jesus really is all those things, you can love him or hate him, but you can’t ignore him. You need to decide what you will do with him. God is not playing hard to get. He is shouting to us from the hill tops! Are you ready and willing to receive Jesus as your “Lord”? If I can help you sort that out, send me e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.