This “Thing”

Posted on December 18, 2012 by



Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/

One of the things I love about the Bible is the realness of the characters in these real life stories.  Consider the shepherds.  Bored, sleepy, wishing they had gone to Pharisee school, and then, all of a sudden, in the middle of the night, all Heaven breaks loose!  The angels appear and Luke tells us that “the Glory of the Lord shone all around them, and they were filled with fear.”  No kidding.  The light alone would have set me running!  The angel explains that unto them a Savior is born, in the city of David.  Then the Heavenly host appear, praising God.  After this announcement, the angels returned to Heaven, and the shepherds said to one another,

“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made know to us.”

This thing! Something had happened on such a large scale that heaven opened to announce it.  The shepherds then in fear, awe, amazement, and curiosity went to Bethlehem via celestial GPS and found Mary and Joseph, and a baby lying in a manger.  They told Mary and Joseph what had been told to them. They declared the good news that had been announce to them.

In a favorite Christmas carol, we sing, “Hark! the herald angels sing, glory to the Newborn King.”  The angels were heralds or announcers of this great event, this thing that has happened.  And therein we see the beauty and the power and the uniqueness of the Gospel.  An event happened that changed everything. It was announced to shepherds, and they then became heralds as well, telling everyone what had been told to them.

The key to understanding what Christmas is all about is that it is a thing…an event…something that has happened!  God has done something so great that the angels and the shepherds become heralds of Good News!  God did not give us a philosophy, or a set of rules, or even religion at Christmas.  He gave us himself.  He entered time and space and visited His children so that He could bring them new life by going to a Cross for them.

The Gospel is called the Good News because it is what God has DONE for us, not what we do for Him.  At Christmas we celebrate this wonderful thing that God has done, becoming weak and vulnerable for us so that we could be strong in Him.

In a current context, enjoy the wonder and amazement of the crowd, the onlookers in this flash mob video. Especially watch the awe in the faces during the last song, O Holy Night. Click here for a heralding of the Good News.

This is the first post in a new series called “Knowing and Sharing the Gospel in Today’s Culture” that I will continue over the course of my next few posts.