Good News to Share - Christmas Eve
I know it’s hard to believe - especially if you’ve watched ANY network news broadcast over the past few years... but according to a scientific sociological study (2010), it has actually been proven... that good news travels faster than bad news.
(According to an article published by Danny Saavedra...) Dr. Jonah Berger, a world-renowned expert on word of mouth, viral marketing, and social influence... summed up the findings of this extensive study by stating, "If I've just read [a] story that changes the way I understand the world and myself, I want to talk to others about what it means."
That’s amazing, isn’t it? But it’s also somewhat surprising!
Because so many people would have you believe that bad news travels way faster than good... but that does not seem to be the case. I suppose it’s like the old expression, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
Of course, if you think about it, it makes sense...
Because, whenever we try something new that’s fantastic... whether it’s the very best thing you’ve ever eaten, or an awesome movie you just watched... or a book you’ve read that just couldn’t put down, or some really great gift you received... or some other wonderful, life-changing announcement (like the birth of a baby or grand-baby)... when something amazing happens... the first thing we usually want to do is share the good news with others!
Christmas is the celebration of the greatest news the world has ever heard: the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And unlike the best steak you’ve ever eaten... or whatever other tidbit of exciting news you have (that honestly, probably only impacts you or a small number of people), the coming of Christ, the Savior of the world, is Good News for every man, woman and child on the planet! It’s the kind of news you and I should be desperately, unashamedly excited about, and willing to share with each and every person we meet. There’s no news that should travel faster than the Good News that God has made a way for all of us to be restored and redeemed and elevated to a right relationship with Him as His children.
In our Lessons for this evening, we see two examples of people who set out to share the Good News of the Gospel.
First, we have Luke... who heard (and surely saw) incredible things - things that he knew, beyond any shadow of doubt, that he needed to share with everyone he could.
You may remember that Luke was Greek, a Gentile, a non-Jew, like us! And Luke had the distinct honor and privilege of being the only Gentile to have authored books of the Bible!
Luke was also referred to as “the beloved physician” by none other than the apostle Paul. And while idea of being a “physician” may bring about glamorous thoughts of prestige and financial security in today’s world, in the time of the early church, physicians were often servants.
It is likely that Theophilus was a patron of Luke’s... possibly a Roman ruler, as the designation “most excellent” was generally reserved for those in a position of power in the Roman Empire. But regardless... Luke confidently shared with Theophilus the message of a Kingdom that is above and beyond Rome, and a King greater than Caesar.
In his intro, Luke told Theophilus that the message he’d received from eyewitnesses about the life and ministry of Jesus needed to be shared, so that he - and by extension everyone else who has read through Luke and Acts - may understand the message of hope. From the amazing detail we find in the Gospels, it is clear Luke spoke with various pivotal people, likely including Mary, Peter, John, and others who had walked with Christ.
Of course, we also read about the shepherds who were the first to receive the incredible news that the Savior had been born. But they didn’t keep this news to themselves. Instead, “they told everybody what had been said to them about the little child. And those who heard them were amazed . . .” (Luke 2:19 PHILLIPS).
How amazing is the Good News to us today? Are we filled with awestruck wonder every time we hear it? Do we long to share the word concerning Jesus with everyone... a word of hope, and love, and joy, and peace and life?
As we celebrate Christmas, I pray we’ll all remember that we’ve been called to share the message of salvation through Jesus with everyone God has placed in our lives. Like the shepherds and Doctor Luke, we have an incredible message for the whole world, and we simply cannot keep it to ourselves!
Today, everyone shares everything. From photos, to emotions, to golden nuggets of wisdom, our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds are never lacking content. We’ve witnessed the power of Christ change our hearts and give us peace... now we must share this amazing news with the same excitement and joy as we do a great photo on Instagram! Take some time this Christmas to share what Jesus is doing in your life. It’s by far, the very best thing you could give another!