“Do not be afraid, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior…” Luke 2:10b-11a
This was the angel’s message to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks by night. Even though the shepherds provide a much-needed service of caring for the sheep, they were at the bottom of social ladder. They we dirty and smelly, but yet they were the first to hear about the birth of Jesus. The angel’s message to the shepherds legitimizes the message of “good news of great joy for all people.”
You don’t have to live in a certain zip code, you don’t have to have a particular balance in your bank account, it doesn’t matter the color of your skin, or the country of origin, it doesn’t matter your resume, or job title, or even if you’re unemployed, it doesn’t matter if you are struggling in your relationships, or if you’re struggling to get sober or clean, or even if your life is nearly perfect this good news is for you.
The good news the angel was proclaiming was that God has come to be with all people. The day didn’t go as hoped for by Mary and Joseph. They didn’t have the convenience of going on Travelocity and guaranteeing them a room at the Inn. They thought surely when we get to Bethlehem there will be a place to stay, they just weren’t expecting that place to be a stable. We tend not to think about how scary this must have been for Mary. When we think of this event, we see the cute little perfect nativity sets we have set up in our home. Can you imagine how frightened you would be if you were about to give birth and there was nothing available but a cow stable? The good news is that when things don’t go as planned, God shows up. Even though that day didn’t go as planned for Mary and Joseph Jesus still showed up. The good news is that Jesus still shows up. Things may not have gone the way you planned. The marriage didn’t last or never happened, who plans for cancer or a heart attack, your career isn’t where you had hoped it would be, you didn’t plan to make bad decisions. Even in all of life that didn’t go as planned Jesus still shows up in your life which is good news for all people.
However, he doesn’t come as we might expect or hope. Who would have thought that the birth of the Savior would have been announced to lowly outsiders like the shepherds or that he would be born in a stable to peasant parents? If we were the directors of this scene the Savior would have arrived with blasting trumpets, fanfare, announced to the powerful of our world. So, when Jesus shows up in your life it may be in ways youdidn’t expect. Jesus will show up in your life, I hope you have eyes to see him in the expected, but more especially in the unexpected.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!