[This is an edited re-post of my 2012 Christmas series]
A childhood memory for so many of us was watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV. The big turning point is when Charlie Brown desperately screams out, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” Linus then calmly, confidently answers, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” He then drags his blanket to center stage, the spotlight hits him, and he begins to quote directly from Luke 2 in the King James version. I’m still amazed that the clear Gospel message is televised in this scene every year. And there are so many amazing details in this simple story.
For instance, have you ever wondered why the God of the Universe would make the birth announcement of the Savior of the world through a band of shepherds? Not kings, not the wealthy, not the power mongers of the day, but a nearby motley crew of sheepherders. A very quirky, ironic moment in Scripture. Why would he choose them? Because here’s a few facts about shepherds in that day:
1—Shepherds had a general reputation as thieves and cheats.
2—Shepherds did not observe the ceremonial law, nor were they religious.
3—Shepherds were considered so unreliable that they were not allowed to testify in court.
Considering this, we have no evidence to believe that this particular band of shepherds fit the stereotype, but we do know they lived in poverty, obscurity, and rejection from society. Let’s face it. They hung out 24/7 in the field with a bunch of animals. But it is highly possible that these shepherds were good men living in a despised position. . . . Exactly the kind of men God sees when no one else will.
Here’s another mystifying thought . . . It is entirely possible that some of the sheep these men were tending would eventually become sacrificial lambs to be used in sin offerings for atonement. Isn’t it just like God to use the men who took care of these lambs to announce the coming of The Lamb that would be the final Sacrifice for all people?
These shepherds were the first to hear and also the first to tell. They heard the angels, obeyed the voice of God, and ran in abandoned obedience to announce the Message they had the amazing privilege to be given.
Today, whether white collar or blue collar, lower, middle, or upper income, Mercedes or Kia, apartment or mansion, it is easy for men in our culture to feel isolated, rejected, and irreligious. Just like those shepherds. But this Christmas season, especially if you’re screaming for meaning like Charlie Brown, the very good news of the Gospel is standing center stage once again, calmly calling out in clarity.
Gentlemen, the Message is clear and we have heard. The Message has been given and we are invited. Like the shepherds, we can take the birth announcement of the King of Kings and let any and everyone know that He has come. He is here!
Regardless of your position in life, your place can be secured in the Kingdom of God. Right now. The screaming for meaning can end and real answers can begin. He is here!
If you are ready to begin a relationship with Jesus, humbly accept His gift by praying a simple prayer like this:
Dear God, I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I now turn from my sins and ask You into my life to be my Savior and Lord. Please forgive me. Thank You for dying for me, saving me, and giving me eternal life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer for the first time, or you have before, but sense something is different, more real, this time, let someone know. Contact a Christian friend now and share the good news. Merry Christmas.
(If you know Christ, consider sharing this post with a friend who needs to hear the real Message of Christmas today.)