Did you mail out Christmas cards this year?
According to Canada Post, they offer reliable and “…cost-effective…” service, which means it cost us $0.85 to send our neighbour down the street a Christmas card. At that price, we might as well get some exercise, walk it down, and put it in the mailbox ourselves!
Could we send a Christmas text message instead?
After all, we live in a world of constant messages. From email to instant message, texting to Skyping, and the abundance of social media platforms; you can’t help but wonder, “How much longer will letter-mail be around?”
Even for official documents, touch screens and digital signatures are shifting how quickly a contract can be put into place.
Everything changes on Christmas doesn’t it?
For some reason at Christmas, texting “Merry Christmas” to all your friends and family doesn’t quite cut it. For some reason, at Christmas, all the postage and packaging is worth it. Why is that?
For a moment, consider the Message that started all. The Christmas Message that was sent and received before any Christmas card or letter was ever written, before any Christmas test message was sent. It was a Message that was given in person…
…or should I say given in angel.
In the Bible (Luke chapter 2 to be exact), we read the account of an angel visiting shepherds. And in verse 11, the angel gives them this message: “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Let’s dive into this message a little a further.
Who’s really giving this message? And who’s this message for? The Bible says that an angel of the Lord gave this message. Meaning, God sent an angel to speak on His behalf. That’s pretty amazing; but it gets better!
You see God chose to reveal this first Christmas message to a group of shepherds. At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal, but for First Century Israel, this was a huge deal!
I think pastoral leader, Randy Alcorn said it best:
“In Christ’s day, shepherds stood on the bottom rung of the Palestinian social ladder. They shared the same unenviable status as tax collectors and dung sweepers.” (Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries)
What does that mean? Well, it means that if shepherds were considered worthy enough to receive this incredible message, than anyone’s worthy enough. Who’s this message for? Everyone, including you and me!
What’s in this Message?
The angel said, “He…” meaning Jesus, “…is Christ the Lord!” But what does that mean? What does “…Christ…” mean?
According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Christ can be defined as,
“anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered ‘Messiah’ (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurring five hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ ( Acts 17:3 ; 18:5 ; Matthew 22:42 ), the Anointed One. He is thus spoken of by ( Isaiah 61:1 ), and by ( Daniel 9:24-26 ), who styles him ‘Messiah the Prince.’” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)
God’s People (the People of Israel) had been waiting for over 400 years to see the coming Messiah, to see the Christ. He would come and restore what sin had broken, a covenant relationship with the Heavenly Father.
Lo and behold, the Father would send His Son for all people, not just the People of Israel. And His Son would to take the punishment for humanity’s sin, giving access to the Father and eternal life for every nation, tribe and tongue.
What do we do with this Message?
The Message is the same as it was that very first night, when those shepherds received it from the angel: “He (Jesus) is Christ the Lord!” Jesus is the Anointed One, Saviour, Redeemer, Messiah. Jesus is the Christ, and the only One who can save us from our sin.
Again, what do we do with this Message, once we’ve received it?
This Christmas (this Christ-mas), we should be compelled to ask ourselves,
“Do I believe this Message? Do I believe that Jesus is more than a historical figure? Do I believe that He came to save me from my sin? Do I believe that Jesus is Christ the Lord?“
And if I do believe this Message, than I should be compelled to spread this Message to anyone and everyone I meet.
It’s no secret that Christ and Christmas are connected…so why not fill them in on the details?
After all, the cost of postage pales in comparison to the cost He paid to save us from our sin and give us eternal life.
That’s definitely a Message worth writing home about!
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!