Goodwill to Men!
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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.” Luke 2:8-14 KJV This is one of the more commonly quoted scripture passages declaring the birth of our Savior. Just a quick grammar lesson Saviour is the correct spelling when using the KJV which is Old English and even in Great Britain today the same spelling is used. Today’s article is contemplating the last three words of this passage, goodwill to men. Often this phrase is used to speak of a blessing upon mankind in general whether you are a follower of Jesus or not. Now in a very generic sense the good news of Jesus’ birth, is good news, for all mankind. Yet these last three words are more specific towards those who are looking to Him for more than just another day off from work. Let’s not forget Christmas started as a celebration of the birth of Christ - not about Santa Claus. The following information comes from a secular site that verifies the origins of Christmas: In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday...First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Other versions of the same passage speak to God’s favor being upon those who look towards Him for their hope. Do we want the Christmas season to be a time of goodwill to all mankind? Yes, but we must be clear; you don’t receive the fullness of Christ just because you celebrate Christmas or put up a manger scene in your home. Many people have a head knowledge of Jesus and don’t even realize that the “goodwill to man” has not truly impacted their life. Christmas Cafe, Hawthorne Family Christmas, Candlelight Christmas Eve Service, and now Christmas at Lupinewald are some of the resources available for each of us to invite family and friends who need Christ to celebrate the season with us. Dec 12th and 13th are two great opportunities to invite someone to hear the message of Emmanuel coming to earth; to take in all music, lights, and pageantry of the season. As we read from Luke 2, hopefully and prayerfully they will embrace in all of its eternal benefit “goodwill to men".