THE GREATEST STORY EVERY TOLD
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests’” (Luke 2:13, 14).
A long time ago, on a cold night over the Judean hills, a most amazing event occurred. The night’s skies were lit up by heavenly beings announcing the birth of God’s only Son, to a virgin from Nazareth in the town of Bethlehem. This is indeed a great story—the Greatest Story ever told of the Savior of mankind being born to fulfill God’s promise to Adam and Eve of a Son who will destroy Satan, sin and death; and undo all the wrong that was done.
And who were the privileged recipients who heard this great and marvelous news? Not princes, priests, presidents or politicians. Not kings or queens. Not Sadducees or soldiers. Not tax agents or ambassadors; not even the Roman emperor heard the angels’ announcement. Just shepherds, common shepherds, were in attendance for this premier performance. To the commonest of the common, to the crustiest of the undercrust—God sent His angelic chorus to deliver the greatest message ever heard.
“Why?” we ask. The answer lies in the fact that humble shepherds fit right in with God’s choice of a humble village named Bethlehem and a humble mother named-Mary. In emphasizing such details, the heavenly author of the Christmas story is making a most important point: When it comes to Bethlehem and when it comes to Calvary—where salvation and heaven are involved—this story is for anyone and everyone who walks the dusty roads of earth. In fact, this story is for all people, no matter what color, race, tribe, nation or language they are. Certainly, no one is excluded. The Savior was born, died, and rose again for one and for all—including you and me.
For over 2000 years, people have called the birth, death and resurrection of God’s Son only Son, and Mary’s Son, the Greatest Story ever told for a reason. No writer could have thought it or wrote this story, except the Author of the Universe. Christmas’ Author, with His finger penned the most amazing story of love and compassion. The Greatest Story ever told reveals the depth of the heart of God—a heart that oozes with His unending and unconditional love; a heart that tells us we are special, valuable and cared for.
What would bring a God who dwells in the magnificent splendor of heaven into a scratchy straw-filled manger? What would bring Him to a Hill to be hung on rough timber with nails, spear, and crown of thorns? And what would bring Jesus to a tomb as a bloodstained corpse? HIS LOVE FOR YOU!
Let everyone know that this is indeed the Greatest Story ever told or ever will be told. It is for us that the Babe of Bethlehem needed to come to restore us and renew us as ONLY He can. He came to empty us from our arrogance and pride. He came to remove our false hope—man’s power that we cling to. He came to do the impossible—to restore the ruined world. And He did that as He took our place on the cross. Because of Him the lion and the lamb will dwell together in harmony. Because of Him streams will flow again in the desert and flowers will blossom. Because of Him joy fills the fearful hearts. Because of Him hope fills the troubled hearts. Because of Him peace will reign again in the world, but more importantly in our hearts.
Why is it the Greatest Story ever told? Because it is the story of our Redemption, the story of our liberation; and the story of our Salvation.
I encourage you to take advantage of this time of year and hear this story again. If you have a church home, make the hearing of this story an appointment you won’t miss. If you don’t have a church home, come join us at Redeemer so that we can share in the wonder of this Greatest Story ever told together!
Our Christmas Eve worship service is @ 6:00 p.m. and Christmas Day @ 9:30 a.m.
Merry CHRISTmas to one and all.