On the Sixth Day of Christmas

The night that Jesus was born, as Luke reports it, “… there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.‘” (Luke 2:8-9, emphasis added)

More often than not, good news is exclusive.  That is, most of the time, what is good news for some is bad news for others.  For example, yesterday’s news included the story of the Green Bay Packers beating the Detroit Lions.  To me, that was good news!  But it was bad news for Lions’ fans.  Financially, a buyers’ market is good news for buyers but bad news for sellers.  The opposite is true when it’s a sellers’ market.  Politically, what is good news for one party is bad news for the other party.

But this news was different!  This good news would bring great joy to “ALL THE PEOPLE.”  Think about it.  Whether you are Packers’ fan or a Lions’ fan, this was still good news.  It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, it’s still good news.  Young or old, rich or poor, Republican, Democrat or Independent, it doesn’t matter; this is still good news!

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that conditions us to value exclusivity. God clearly valued being inclusive! This is an area in which we need to be countercultural. May the angel’s proclamation remind us that our “club,” the church, was never intended to be exclusive! 

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