Christmas - A time of hope for people

A devotional from 

Pastor Norm McLean

Warracknabeal Baptist Church

Once again we approach Christmas, with the parties, the break ups of school and work and the rush to make sure that we have everything ready.

The tree is in place and the decorations are up.

Mum makes sure that everything is organised for the Christmas meals because Christmas Day is one day we can’t dash down to the supermarket to get what we forgot.

It seems that life speeds up incredibly in the lead up to Christmas.

For some of us it all gets a bit too much, and so we go into survival mode, just hoping it will soon be over and life can get back to normal.

Christmas seems to make demands on us that we are not designed to deal with.

It must have felt like that for the sheperds out in the fields just minding their own business on the first Christmas night when the angels came to them announcing that the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, had been born.

It seems odd that the most important message from God to the world would be entrusted to such ordinary people as the sheperds.

Why not announce the news to the rulers of the people, those with influence, at least to the religious folk.

The sheperds were on the lowest rung of the Jewish social ladder, irreligious, uncouth, and looked down on by the ‘decent’ people; and God chose them.

That is great news for you and me, because many of us feel very ordinary at times.

The birth of Jesus is good news for the ordinary people, for the underdog and for the oppressed.

Jesus himself said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you would know the freedom, joy and peace that Jesus came to bring, that all through the year ahead you would remember that the good news of the gospel is for us ordinary people.

Happy Christmas!