Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tim, December, 2010

posted Feb 19, 2011, 12:11 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Feb 19, 2011, 12:29 PM ]

Comments from the December, 2010  Newsletter, Gabriel's Horn

 There is no denying it; Christmas will be here before you know it.  In recent days we have seen evidence of Christmas from the increase of store merchandise and big sales to lights appearing on houses and decorations in windows.  I am convinced that people are more receptive to the gospel message these weeks leading to Christmas than at any other time of the year!  Knowing that people are open and receptive provides us an opportunity to talk about our faith and also to invite our friends, coworkers and neighbors to church with us.        

In reading the familiar Christmas story from the second chapter of Luke I am always intrigued that God sent the angels to tell the shepherds the good news of Jesus’ birth.  In Bible times shepherds had a bad reputation—there was a reason that they were out in their fields away from people.  It might have made more sense to send the angels to the religious leaders.  After all they would be familiar with the scripture passages that told of the coming of the Messiah.  If not those with religious titles why not tell those holding positions of power in the government.  Certainly they would have the means to get the message out.  Why the shepherds?

Perhaps the answer is found in the angels’ words, “Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people…” (Luke 2:10)  “Good news of great joy for all the people.”  Jesus was born and would later die for all people.  Jesus came not just for some people, not the well to do, or those in positions of power but for all people.  What better way to demonstrate that Jesus was born for all people than to tell the lowly shepherds.

The shepherds believed what the angels told them.  That night God was able to reach the least likely to be receptive to the good news.  Somehow I never picture the shepherds as the church going type.  But that night God was able to melt the hardness of their hearts.  Notice how the shepherds responded.  They left their sheep and went running into the “little town of Bethlehem” searching for the baby Jesus. They were not about to give up until they saw the baby with their own eyes.  And not only that but they left telling everyone they came in contact with of their experience.  “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”  (Luke 2:20)

Our prayer is that God will soften the hearts of others this Christmas season.  We play an important role, through our example and also through our words, when we tell others about Jesus and what he has done in our lives.  We share out of our great love for Jesus.  We want others to meet the Jesus that we love and serve--the Jesus who has impacted our own lives.

Let us seize the opportunity Christmas provides by inviting and bringing our friends to church with us.

See you in church this month as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.  I would like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas!

Your pastor,
Pastor Tim Smith