Faith & Worship: No one is excluded from the good news of God

Published 8:00 am Thursday, December 20, 2018

Like you, I have been receiving circulars from the department stores advertising sales days and special discounted pricing on sale items.

In small print on the circulars is a list of exclusions. Certain items are exempted and are therefore not discounted.

I find it is always wise to read the fine print before I stand at the register, credit card or cash in hand, with my items for purchase.

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Well, being the Christmas season, this got me to thinking about the angel’s announcement to the shepherds “abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.”

This visit of the angel caught the motley brotherhood completely by surprise and virtually frightened them out of their wits (Luke 2:8-20). Fright, by the way, was the initial reaction to angel visitations. Such was the case with Zachariah (Luke 1:13) and Mary (Luke 1:30).

Would it be any different with us?

The angel said to the frightened shepherds, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

It needs to be said that some religious people of the first century included some and excluded others from the circle of God’s love.

The good news that was announced to the shepherds, who were among those not well regarded by some, was that nobody is excluded. God, by sending word of Jesus birth to the shepherds, declared that the good news is for everyone. “…behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

There it is, “good tidings…which shall be to all people.”

No exclusions. No exemptions. Jesus is for everyone. Christmas is for everybody.

And so, I take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!