Luke 2:8-11 AMP
“In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).”
I don’t typically watch the news on television. I prefer to scan the headlines using my favorite news channel apps so I can zero in and catch up on what’s really important to me. I appreciate that breaking news, with all the latest information, is now literally at my fingertips. And it’s organized in a neat and easy to follow manner so I can always stay informed. The most recent headlines are right on top, and older posts in the timeline are embedded in the link in case I missed any key parts of the story.
Headlines communicate a lot in just a short, succinct phrase. It’s been said they’re the most important part of any piece of writing. And when Jesus was born, the headlines of history changed. The storyline had just been updated and it was time to start operating according to a new report.
A new day had dawned, a new era had just been ushered in through the birth of a Savior, Christ the Lord. No longer did people have to live under the tyranny of sin and all its effects. No longer did people have to live in fear. No longer could only certain people get to experience the goodness of God. The redemption of man had just literally commenced.
This is the filter – the headline – through which we must see everything else. Good news, of great joy, for all people. It’s a message of redemption and freedom through relationship. And if you “clicked on the article” and read further, you’d find that through the birth and life of Jesus, we got to know what God is really like. His ways, how He operates, and what He is doing at this time in history – the time we now live in. You’d see that God did not send His Son into the world in order to judge, reject, condemn, or pass sentence on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:17) And you’d find that He’s a good Father, loving, merciful, kind and compassionate.
One of the greatest gifts we can experience at Christmastime is that of coming to know the true nature of God – either for the first time or in a deeper way. Knowing the truth of who He is, what He is doing, and what He has made available to us alters our perspective. If we’re looking at our life or what’s going on in the world around us, and we can’t see the good in it or we can’t see it redemptively, then we’re most likely not operating according to the latest headline.
Let’s be honest. Over time we can grow cynical or irritated with our circumstances. Bitterness can set in and start altering our perspective darkly. We can forget that God is working all things together for our good. Or we can look at what’s going on in the world and start to feel overwhelmed or lose hope that things will ever change, forgetting that we’re part of the solution now.
Today’s a good day to consider this, “What headline am I operating under?” Is there anything that has worn you down or clouded your perspective? Ask God to help you see things the way He sees them – in light of the good news of great joy.