This time of the year is always extra-special, because the Christmas story brings us tidings of great joy: Jesus Christ the Savior is born! But the Christmas story also contains other powerful truths. Let me briefly share four of those, based on Luke 2:1-20.
God is sovereign over all human rulers. When Caesar Augustus, the world’s most powerful person of his day, called for a census across the Roman Empire, he could not have known that he was also a tool in God’s hands, making possible the fulfillment of the prophecy that Christ would be born in Bethlehem.
God uses ordinary, obedient people. Joseph and Mary had no money for proper lodging or even a decent diaper, but they made the trip to Bethlehem. Mary could have stayed home as she was about to give birth, which made traveling dangerous. I believe that through their reading of the Old Testament, they knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, so they took the risk of traveling together and obediently fulfilled the prophecy.
God empowers the insignificant. The shepherds were outcasts in their society. Their testimony was not even admissible in court. Yet God chose them to be the first evangelicals—the first people to declare the good news of Jesus’ birth.
God authenticates his messengers. The shepherds might have figured that no one would believe them. God confirmed his message to them by a great company of angels and gave them special knowledge of Mary and Joseph’s situation, causing all to be amazed at their announcement.
The good news of Christmas is not only that Christ is born to bring salvation to lost humanity, but also that ordinary people like us can have eternal significance as we allow God to empower and use us to accomplish his purpose. Christmas gives us hope that we nobodies can become somebodies as we become channels of the gospel.
Have a merry Christmas, and be a somebody!
Bp Efraim Tendero
Secretary General / CEO
World Evangelical Alliance