We are the news-bearers!

December 17, 2021 | Betsy Howden

About the author: Betsy is a long-time member of ZPC and resident of Zionsville. She and her husband, Michal, have two grown children and four, soon to be five, grandchildren. Betsy retired as Worship Coordinator at ZPC in 2018 and loves the opportunity retirement provides to travel, especially to Austin, TX to visit her daughter and family. Betsy is currently serving as an active ZPC Elder and also serves in the worship tech ministry on Sunday mornings.

Today's scripture: Luke 2:1-14

In today’s passage we find Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem where Mary gives birth to Jesus. It’s a story we know well, however, I’d like to focus on the last part of the passage. Come with me and sit among the shepherds out in the field. Here we are, dirty, smelly shepherds sitting among the sheep doing the same old, same old. Same old dirt and smell on us, same old stinky sheep we watch over night after night. The other shepherds are the same. The night is dark although the stars, too many to count, blanket the sky with their brilliance. But, they are the same old stars.

And then...everything changes! Our focus is no longer on the the stink or the sheep or the monotony of our lives. An angel appears and the glory of the Lord shines all around! What should we do? I know I am terrified. Are you? Should we hide? Should we run? I can’t move! I can hardly think!

Then, the angel speaks. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” I blink my eyes, I begin to breathe again. And my brain begins to comprehend that an angel of the Lord is speaking to me, to my fellow shepherds, to you, telling us that our Savior has been born! An angel telling those of us who are considered the least that there is good news for all people. We are the chosen news-bearers of this miraculous event.

Even in the excitement and anticipation of Advent, I think it’s easy to lose focus and, like the shepherds, get lost in the “every day-ness" of life. We face the same time stealers as we rush to finish Christmas lists and work longer to get some time off. For some of us, our calendars fill and we rush from one thing to another. For others, we focus on wishing things had stayed the same as we long for lost loved ones or lost relationships. We know it’s not about the presents or the calendar or anything that takes our focus off of where it should be. I encourage you to listen once again to the good news of the angel:

“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (emphasis mine)

The birth of Jesus means nothing is the same; our lives have been changed forever and for good! You may find yourself focusing on the same old, same old, but I encourage you to once again turn your focus to what is really important. I encourage all of us to live into the joy of the angel’s announcement. We are the news-bearers! Jesus has been born!


Especially at this time of year our lives can become so busy. We are filled with excitement over all that Advent brings with it and yet it can become easy to overlook the good news of the angel. Just as the shepherds didn’t go back to their flock after hearing the angel’s pronouncement, help us to take time in our busy lives to meditate, experience the joy, and celebrate the reality that our Savior has been born for us. May our hearts be filled with praise and gratitude for this glorious gift of love. Thank you for letting us be the news-bearers. Jesus has been born and it’s in his holy name that we pray.