In Luke 2:8-12 the angel tells the shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for see I am bringing you the news of great joy for all the people to you born this day in the city of David a Saviour who is the Messiah the Lord. This will be a sign for you and you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
This scripture passage resonates with me for two reasons. Firstly, the theme of Luke’s gospel is that the Messiah came for the poor symbolised by the shepherds. Moreover, I believe that the announcement to the shepherds was because they were a group of people that were faithful to the message of the prophets that a Saviour would be born amongst them. Hence they would go and proclaim the good news to others after visiting Jesus. For me it makes me realise how excited we all should be when sharing the good things happen in our lives.
Secondly, the manger continues Luke’s theme of Jesus being born in extremely humble surroundings illustrating that his lowly birthplace placed him above no one else but demonstrated his desire to live amongst humanity. Jesus’ circumstances showed that despite his birthplace he was special and those who witnessed it immediately recognised that he was the Messiah. I often believe regardless of the place and the events it is what you make of the situation and the relationships that can make you rise above it to make any event worthwhile.
Consequently, at Christmas time I reflect on the following points initially, sharing positively with others and growing and maintaining those relationships by appreciating the value and specialness they add to my life. Additionally, no matter the difficulties I have faced during the year I believe it is a good time to dwell on the positives and how I have grown as a person through undertaking those responsibilities. Hopefully it enables me to build greater empathy and understanding when encountering the next challenge. Besides, underpinning all of these factors is the faith of Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds that the wait is over and we can all share the joy of Jesus being born on Christmas Day with our families and friends