By Shawn McMullen
Each morning as the school day began, my grade school classmates and I sat at our desks and stared at a rectangular brown box mounted high on the classroom wall. The wooden speaker relayed the voice of our principal who announced the day’s lunch menu and a schedule of after-school activities.
About the same time I learned an announcement song at church camp and dutifully sang it every time a faculty member stood up to address the campers in the dining hall.
I suppose I’ve heard hundreds of thousands of announcements in my lifetime. But I haven’t always paid attention. Even now as I travel, I look up briefly when the flight attendant requests my attention to review safety procedures before takeoff. But I quickly go back to the book I’m reading.
While some announcements may be safely ignored, others cannot. More than 2,000 years ago an angel made an announcement of eternal importance, worthy of the attention of every man, woman, and child on earth. It was an announcement that made—and changed—history: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11, King James Version).
The shepherds who heard the announcement listened carefully and fearfully and responded immediately. They were wise to do so.
It Confirmed Prophetic Predictions
The prophet Isaiah predicted the virgin birth of Christ hundreds of years before the angel announced it to the shepherds: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14, NIV).
Micah the prophet spoke about the very town in which Jesus would be born: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).
All that Israel had hoped and longed for had come to pass. The promises God made through his prophets were fulfilled.
It Brought Hope to a Lost World
The angel announced the birth of a Savior. “The baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12) came to bring light to those living in darkness. Matthew referred to Isaiah 42:4 when writing about the ministry of Jesus: “In his name the nations will put their hope” (Matthew 12:21).
It Established Christ’s Lordship
In his announcement, the angel identified the infant Jesus as “Christ the Lord.” The Greek Christos means, “anointed,” a reference to the promised Messiah. The word for “Lord,” Kurios, refers to the possessor and disposer of a thing, the owner. From the beginning, the Son of God came to rule and reign.
The announcement of Christ’s birth has been recorded for all time and for all people in the pages of Scripture. But not all who hear the announcement pay attention. One day, however, “At the name of Jesus every knee [will] bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10, 11).
One can only hope that those who hear this important announcement will pay attention—before it’s too late.