By Rev. Dr. Duro Ayanrinola
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
All over the world, the month of December is known for celebrating Christmas, the birth of Christ. But unfortunately, the social and commercial activities of the season usually overshadow the real meaning of the occasion. Of course, Christmas season is more than a holiday or festive time of eating, drinking and merry making. Its importance also goes beyond the sharing of gifts. The announcement of the angels to the shepherds when Jesus was born says it all: The angel said, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” What then is this Good news?
The meaning of good news
Two passages in the book of Proverbs give us some ideas of what good news means and does to the hearers. The passages are Proverbs 15:30 “. . . good news refreshes the bones” and Proverbs 25:25 “Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Good news does the opposite of what bad news does to its receivers.
When Nehemiah was told that the remnant in Jerusalem were in great trouble and that the wall of the famous city, Jerusalem, was broken down, he became depressed, mourned, and wept for some days (Nehemiah 1:4). Likewise, as soon as Prophet Eli heard that the ark of God was captured by the Philistines, he fell over backward, broke his neck and died (1 Samuel 4:18). That is the power of bad news.
Jesus is the Good News
The good news announced at Jesus’ birth, fulfills the Old Testament promises about the coming Messiah and the salvation He brings to the entire world. It is more than any good news that refreshes the heart for a short time. In fact, Jesus is the Good News that lasts till eternity. He died for our sin, was buried and raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. In him, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins and whoever believes in him may have eternal life. He is the Good News to all: the rich, the poor, the young, and the old. This is the Good News the world must hear today.
The world needs to hear the Good News
At such a time like this when bad news dominates media headlines, reports, and newspapers—uncertainties, terrorism, worldwide economic recession, collapse of major corporations, high rate of unemployment, political maneuverings, wars, refugee problems and other heart-breaking woes. It is also painful and disheartening to hear about individuals, churches and denominations abandoning the authentic faith and embracing the political correctness doctrine of this age. It is time to share the good news: the story of Jesus, who is the Savior, the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor and the Everlasting Father.
Don’t keep the Good News to yourself
If you have been saved and have experienced the transforming power of this Good News of Jesus Christ, this Christmas season, you will be ‘wrong’ if you do not share the good news. This is what the four lepers perishing with hunger said after experiencing God’s miraculous deliverance of their city from great famine. They said, “This is the day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now, let us go and tell the king’s household” (2 Kings 7:9).
No one keeps Good News to himself; it must be shared. Let me ask you a question, How did you hear the Good News? Probably someone took the time to pray for you and share it with you. Paul said, “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ. . . having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:12-13). This was who we were before hearing the good news. We were like the four lepers, completely alienated from God because of our sins. But God forgave our sins when we responded to the Good News and we were reconciled to Him.
As you think of Christmas, think of the Good News that has the power to save and deliver any person. Don’t trivialize this opportunity; Christmas decorations are fantastic but don’t forget to tell people that Jesus is the Light of the world. Ask for God’s courage to personally share the Good News with your family members, friends, and co-workers. Where it is impossible for a face-to-face interaction, make a phone call or send a text message. You may also spend few minutes to pray for those you know have not received the Good News before you eat your Christmas meal. Remember, Christmas season is Good News time.