You’ve heard it recited in A Charlie Brown Christmas, but it didn’t originate with Linus. In his account of the life of Jesus, Luke writes that, on the night of Jesus’ birth, an angel came and stood before some poor, smelly, dirty shepherd boys who were tending their sheep near the small town of Bethlehem in Israel. Now no one sees an angel, a scary, other-worldly being, without fearing for his or her life, so the angel’s first words were to calm those frightened boys and assure them that they had nothing to fear. Why? Because he was bringing them good news.
The angel’s words are recorded in Luke 2:10–11. He said,
“… Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The angel told the shepherds where to find the baby and how they would recognize him. When he was done, a huge number of angels joined him and together they praised God for the wonder of what He had done that very night, and then…they were gone.
The shepherds immediately went into Bethlehem to find the baby that the angel had told them about. Who could wait to see such a thing? But here’s the thing: they weren’t content to just see the baby. No, after they left Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus, they went and told all of their friends and all of the people in the area—not just about the angel, and the baby, and all that had happened during the night—but about the message that they had heard from the angel. After all, the angel had told them that them the good news was for all the people. If you want a picture of their excitement, think of little kids on Christmas morning. They can’t wait to see their presents, and then, they can’t wait to show them to everyone around them.
Like those excited shepherd boys, all of us can participate in spreading that good news. We are all both sent and senders. All of us can tell the good news of this wonderful Savior to our family and friends. Jesus explicitly sent us to do that. We may not all be sent to other countries or people groups to tell this good news, but we can all participate in sending others who do.
We can serve as senders by asking God to provide people to leave their homes and go to other cultures to tell people there this good news. And, we can be senders by praying for those who go. And, we can be senders by giving to help them be able to go.
There’s the message of Christmas: a Savior has been born for all of us!
Go tell someone.