(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
Coxy's Christmas Message - 2009
18th December 2009
There you are, looking after the sheep, minding your own business, trying to make a living. You don't think of yourself as a bad person, but you don't think of yourself as particularly religious, either. And suddenly, when you least expect it, someone turns up to tell you about Jesus Christ.
Of course, it wasn't "Christmas" then. The shepherds weren't going to go home to roast turkey and mince pies. It was just another night's work. And then suddenly it wasn't. Then it was a totally life-changing experience for them, as it is for all who receive the gospel message.
For many people today, there's no worse time than Christmas to meet someone who actually cares about Jesus Christ. Many just want to be left alone, to be with their family, to relax, to get a bit of peace. But it often doesn't work out like that.
Many families expect Christmas to be wonderful every year, even though it hasn't actually been wonderful for a long time. Christmas is a time when families come under strain: the strain that comes from spending too much; the strain that comes from eating and drinking too much; the strain of actually having to talk to your family - and maybe your extended family - maybe for several days. Over the year, you forget how irritating they are, and they forget how irritating you are. Christmas seems such a good idea. But there are many fights and many tears at Christmas.
So, although we don't want to hear about the Kingdom of God at Christmas, the angel's message is one we desperately need.
The word "angel" means "messenger". If God sends you a messenger this Christmas, whether he looks like a human or a heavenly being, then welcome him. His message is what you need. That's why God sent him.
The angel said:
The Christmas message is GOOD NEWS.
It's news of GREAT JOY.
And it's for ALL THE PEOPLE - including you.
Jesus Christ really was born in Bethlehem about 2000 years ago. He really is THE SAVIOUR. He really is THE CHRIST - God's anointed one. And, most remarkably, he was wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. God came to Earth, living among the poor and the rejected and the oppressed, so that he could save us.
He's come for you.