A baby is born. The angels celebrate. The shepherds come to see. A mother marvels. Immanuel, come into the world.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
That’s the Gospel. The gospel means good news. What is the good news? Jesus is the savior of the world. God takes on human flesh full of grace and truth. God takes on human flesh to become our sacrifice. God takes on human flesh to show us a new way to live and then give us an opportunity to do so. God takes on human flesh to fix the problem, the problem of sin. The Gospel can become a lot of other things, and that is sad, heretical, and tragic. The good news is the foundation and backbone of the Church and its beliefs. I read one writer that said that the problems produced by the Church are often a result of a “crooked Christology”. Either a lack of teaching about Christ (Christianity becomes other things) or wrong teaching about Christ. If that’s the case, and I believe the writer is correct, then the Church needs to get back to the Gospel of good news.
Listen to the news the angels bring, glory to the new born King.
The center and focus of the Christian life is the Gospel. It is what we centrally believe. It is our first response of faith, our response to the word, the truth, of Jesus. I believe Jesus is the son of God. I believe through Jesus that God and sinner are reconciled. I believe the good news. This is the starting point of all of Christianity. It is what binds us together in the body of Christ. It is then the starting point and the foundation of how we are to live. It is the message that we are to take to the world. Is the good news what we as Christians are known for?
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
I love Christmastime. I enjoy the tree, the presents, time with family, the break from work, the tv specials and music, etc. But here lies my attention: Christmas means “mass of Christ”. And without being theological about it, to me that means a remembrance of Christ (as communion is taken in remembrance of Him). But this remembrance takes on the whole work of Christ. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. But God and sinner are reconciled through his death, burial and resurrection. And that is the whole of the good news. The savior has come into the world. And His completed work is the opportunity to be forgiven and to be with God in right relation again. This is the good news of great joy for all the people. I believe the Gospel.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)