December 4, 2020
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you:
You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God
and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
“I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
Friends, I won’t speak for anyone else but as 2020 rapidly draws to a close I desperately needed to hear the words “good tidings of great joy.” It doesn’t seem like there has been a lot of joy throughout this last year, does it? We all know what’s transpired in 2020 so I won’t go over it again but I really want to end this year by changing my focus.
Crisis, pain, and fear have a way of doing that to us…changing our focus. It’s always amazed me how I can be having a great day and then bad news, or a physical or emotional pain enters the picture like a roaring lion and DEMANDS my attention. Suddenly it seems my entire day, my complete focus is drawn to the problem at hand. It can consume me. Suddenly fear starts to overwhelm me and within minutes I convince myself that whatever it is I’m struggling with is hopeless. I’m going to be stuck in this place forever! The pain, the situation, the crisis is never going to go away! And that all-consuming fear rules my life. I, in just a very short time, have become a slave to…..a lie.
It is a lie you know? The truth is that those same words proclaimed to the shepherds 2000 years ago are as relevant today as they were then. Maybe even more so. “Good tidings of great joy.” I know I desperately need good tidings of great joy right now. And I need to change my focus. Will you join me this Christmas Season in focusing on the words of the angel? Will you join me in hearing the heavenly host proclaim “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men”? And will you join me in proclaiming the truth that ” For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord?” Let us focus on THAT truth. Let us focus on God’s word this Christmas; not the words of the news or the politicians or the doomsday purveyors. Because ultimately, without the news that a Savior has been born to us…where do we possibly find hope?
LifeQuest will continue to carry that message to at-risk and adjudicated youth this Christmas Season and into 2021. There IS HOPE! There IS JOY! There Is a better message than the one the world is telling them! ” For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ” THAT is our hope. THAT is our joy. And THAT is the message we need to focus our thoughts and dreams on as we enter 2021.
May your focus this Christmas Season be on the message of hope that comes from the news that God’s desires are for peace and goodwill towards all mankind. He loves you. He loves me. And, He loves the youth we serve. Thank you for your prayers and gifts that continue to allow us to carry that message.