Summary: This is a Christmas message on why God chose to send the angels to the shepherds rather than to anyone else. God wanted the message to include everyone including the lost. Since God has a great love for those who are lost we as believers should have that same type of love.
The Christmas Story
We are in the last part of our series “The Christmas Story.” We have looked at God’s Love For Us, Our Love For Each Other, Our Love For Christ, and we conclude with our Our Love For The Lost. It’s Christmas time, and that means that it’s time for family to come together. Each family has that one member that wants to argue about Christmas. They are going to insist that Jesus was not born on December 25th.
Shock them be agreeing with them and saying, “you’re absolutely correct. As a matter of fact, the Bible never tells us when Jesus was born. December 25th was a Roman holiday in which people worshipped the Sun. When the emperor became a Christian, he declared December 25th the day of Jesus’ birth, so that people would stop worshipping the sun and start worshipping the Son of God.” Then ask them, “Now that we both agree that Jesus came, what have you decided to do about God’s love for you.”
Let’s suppose for a moment that you were a scientist who had your own lab in a private section of your house. You were working day in and day out to find a cure for a form of cancer that was rapidly killing people. Somehow you accidentally discover the cure by looking at something else totally unrelated.
Who would you rather immediately publish the news, “Lone Scientist Accidentally Discovers The Cure For Cancer?” Would you rather it show up in the “National Enquirer” or in the “Cleveland Plain Dealer.” Most of us would look at the reputation of the two newspapers and choose the Cleveland, Plain Dealer.
The National Enquirer is full of stories that are often misleading at best and simply untrue at worse. Rarely do we believe the headlines without a lot of skepticism. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has the reputation of being a reputable paper that you can believe and will take seriously. You do not want to have your great cancer cure discovery overshadowed by people arguing over whether or not you can believe the source.
Since you and I know this, you would think that God knows this as well. But God is God, and God does not think or act in the way we think God should act. God is doing something that has never been done before. A promise that was given 1,000’s and 1,000’s of years earlier by God is about to come forward. The single most important event in all of history for humankind is about to take place. Something that will unite people from all races, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all educational levels, all kinds of abilities is about to take place. This news is so important, that history in the world will be divided into between before this event and after this event.
God the Father will send forth God the Son into the world of humanity, so that God and people can be reunited again. People can have the kind of joy, the kind of peace, the kind of hope that God intended for them to have with God and with each other. The event has just happened, and God has to get the word out to people who can in turn get it out to others. You want a reliable distribution network for the message.
Now if you were God, what would you do to get the word out to the people? Now the city of Bethlehem is filled with people because everyone had to come home and be registered for the Roman Census. That’s why Mary and Joseph could not find a decent motel room to rent. I suppose God could have done something dramatic like doing some fireworks in the sky and following it up with speaking to the people.
I suppose he could have blew the trumpet of one of the angels and had him land in front of the place Mary, Joseph and Jesus were, and tell people what was going on. I suppose God could have even touched everybody’s heart and give them the feeling of “I must go to the stable.” You’ve had those moments in which you felt you just had to do something and it was a good thing that you did.”
God could have done that, but God didn’t. God did something that seemed to hurt his cause more than it helped it. God chose the National Enquirer over the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In heaven, I can imagine the angels were all excited over who might get the job of telling humanity that God had come in the flesh and was now living among them.
Would it be Gabriel, would it be Michael, or would be The Angel of the Lord? These were the most important angels that we knew of. But the scriptures tell us, that it was none of these. It was just an angel of the Lord. Jesus’ birth starts out in humility in heaven and continues to the earth.