Since the existence of the earth, many messages have been sent. Some messages were warnings, others caused conversion to God, and still others were only for special circles and certain people. We know of messages of sorrow and of messages of joy, of devastating news, also of uplifting declarations of victory.
But the most glorious of all messages and the most precious proclamation did not come from a mortal but from heaven itself. It came from the Creator of the world and from the dear Father to us humans. It was at a special point in time, because it was during the night when this message sounded – as opposed to the daytime when trivial and unimportant things were done. But that night, there in Bethlehem’s fields, the greatest message of joy ever heard by a human ear resounded. Yes, it is the message of grace of eternal love and eternal mercy to a world sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, to humanity languishing in chains of sin. O what a thought! God communicated to us what He wanted to do out of love and eternal mercy, yes, that He Himself bowed down and descended to earth!
Who sends us this message of joy? It is the eternal God, our Father in heaven. Yes, truly: “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16), and “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).
Do we remember that this message comes from the One against whom we have sinned so often and so much? We have caused Him much trouble and toil with our sin and iniquities. We have disregarded His commandments and requests and turned our faces, hearts, and backs to Him.
Dear reader, do you recognize the deep essence of His being? O, worship Him, fall down before Him! Praise Him without ceasing for the saving grace that has appeared to all.
We also see the greatness of the messenger in the message. Even in the world, important messages are not proclaimed by just any person, but by those with office and dignity. In the same way, the Almighty God did not entrust His messages to people to just anyone, but it was an angel who announced His decree to the shepherds in the company of the heavenly hosts.
The messenger was given the name “the angel of the Lord,” and he was endowed and honored to act as the empowered one in God’s affairs. The glory of the Lord clothed this angel, and he was surrounded by radiant splendor.
But who were the recipients of this message? Oh, not the great ones of this world! Not Herod, not the scribes, not even the respected among the people, and certainly not those who spent their time in pleasure and lust. No!
This most important message was entrusted to the simple and lowly. They were chosen as the recipients. Why those who are foolish in the eyes of the world? God chose the common and lowly, the despised? Why, do you think? We find an answer in Luke 2:38: “to all those who looked for redemption.”
This is also true today; everyone who longs for the Savior and salvation may still receive this redeeming message. There is no respect of person and no exception. Those who are poor in themselves can come, hear, and accept.
The content of the divine message
“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. And this will be a sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
Oh, what joyful news for lost souls! What an offer for sinners! – A Savior, a Redeemer for all people! “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Yes, rejoice, you people of God – yes, rejoice, Zion, you Church, you Bride of the Blessed One! – But you who still lie bound with your chains of sin and chained to the ground of destruction should also rejoice! This message of peace is also for you. This message includes you: “There is born to you this day…a Savior!” Christ, the Savior, is here. He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. He also wants to become your Savior.
Such marvelous news requires a response. What did the astonished shepherds say? This is important for us because there we have an example. The answer of the shepherds there in Bethlehem’s fields was simple and clear: “Let us now go!”
When they had heard and understood the divine message, they did not do as many do today and first discussed it with all kinds of people. That is when people often start to think: What will my enemies or my friends and relatives say if I obey God’s voice? The devil whispers in some people’s ears, “You can’t mess with the world.” Temporal desires dissuade so many souls. Whoever you are, this message is for you! And you must know that your unbelief and disobedience are to blame for your eternal destruction. The proclamation of the Savior is also for you today, and with Him you shall live forever.
Look at the shepherds: Immediately after hearing the divine word – it was still the middle of the night – they set out for Bethlehem, leaving their occupation behind, and following the heavenly instruction. The flocks entrusted to them were not as important to them. One thing filled their hearts: they wanted to see the Savior!
Learn from the shepherds if you still hesitate! God immediately had the message proclaimed to the shepherds at the appearance of His Son. The angel obeyed instantly and did God’s will. Yes, this is how it should and must be with us. This is the only way to full victory and salvation!
The result of obedience
The shepherds found it as the angel had announced it to them and experienced immense joy. They found the Lamb of God. Those who seek after God’s divine command will never be put to shame. Instead, their souls will be completely refreshed.
Joseph and Mary and all the saints in heaven cannot satisfy the longing of the heart. But when they saw the Child, light shone in their souls. They saw and experienced what prophets had been proclaiming for thousands of years. With overflowing hearts, they returned to their flocks. Never had they experienced such joy. Yes, they told others what they had heard and seen.
Yes, He is “Jesus Christ, yesterday and today and the same forever!” Oh, believe the Word and trust your Savior, and your soul will experience grace, blessing, and abundance!