22nd December 2012

A Little Good News

“Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you tidings of great joy.”
Luke 2:10 (NKJV)

Ann Murray sang the song; “A Little Good News” in the 80s—it is a song about the crime and lawlessness in the USA at that time. But as I listened to it recently I realised that it could have been written and performed yesterday and is so up to date it beggars belief, and so it is not surprising that people worldwide yearn and long for “a little good news”!  

This special song strikes a chord inside me and I long to see a change in this society.  I expect that I am not alone in this.  In case you are not familiar with the song, here’s one of the verses:
“Nobody robbed the liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burnt a single buildin’ down;
Nobody fired a shot in anger no body had to die in vain;
We sure could use a little good news today!”

One dark, cold night, around about 2000 years ago, there was a bunch of tired and weary shepherds in a field near Bethlehem in Judea watching over their flocks. These guys were minding their own business, doing what they did every night—keeping their little woolly animals safe from predators. Suddenly, an angel appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them.  They were terrified!  I’m sure I would have been too! These lowly shepherds were told to go and search for a newborn baby; a Saviour who is Christ, the Lord!  Notice this angelic being informs them that this is “Good news of great joy!”  See, there’s news and then there’s Good News; there’s joy and then there’s Great Joy—but this isn’t all—again suddenly, there is also a heavenly choir, a host of angels singing praises to God and declaring “Peace” on earth to all men of good will. These shepherds were blown away by all of this and despite their weariness, they rush to the little town of Bethlehem to find this child (Christ, the Lord), who had just been born and was wrapped in swaddling cloths in the same way as their own children were wrapped at birth.  But this one was lying in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. (Luke 2: 8-18).  I find it so amazing that these humble shepherds, and not Kings or Governors, were invited to the birth of a King that night! Yet this was a clear reference to Christ’s role as the shepherd of all humanity. ( John 10.11,14-16) And as you know; ever since that amazing night there has been for all mankind; much, much more than—“a little good news!”

Prayer
Thank you, great Father, for the birth of your Son, Jesus, who came to our rescue and to reveal the Good News about your love for us all.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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