For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

What an incredible announcement the shepherds heard the night Christ was born! They were lowly, ordinary shepherds watching their sheep on a hillside outside the village of Bethlehem. It was a night like thousands of nights that preceded it… ordinary, mundane, and routine.  But it was not an ordinary night—it was extraordinary!   It was a night interrupted by an announcement – the most extraordinary event in the history of man…God became man! The Almighty was caressed in the arms of His young virgin mother; the Creator nourished by one He had created; the voice of God uttered through the cry of an infant; the glory of God was veiled in humility and the God of Heaven was wrapped in clothes and laid in a manger. Following the angel’s announcement, the angelic host unable to contain their silence burst forth with praise to God and God’s will for man exclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

The tragic loss of life and the funerals that have followed this past week remind us all that this world does not yet know the peace God offers nor do they recognize the highest expression of God’s “good will” – His plan of redemption through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [sacrifice] for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

We are blessed to celebrate the birth of Christ with family and friends this Sunday. Dr. John Stevens, brother-in-law of the Barbers will be speaking in a special combined ABF (Sunday school) hour [a Lobby fellowship begins at 9:00 AM]. Our own Beth (Horton) Barnard will minister to us in song in the morning service.

Don’t forget our traditional Candlelight Service this Christmas Eve (6:00-6:45 pm).

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas,

Pastor Smith