And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11
A few weeks ago Pam and I were in St. Louis to do some recording for The Lutheran Hour.
While we were there, we made a quick jaunt to Costco to pick up a few necessities. We were amazed at what we saw! With Christmas still nearly 100 days away ... before Halloween or Thanksgiving ... there were Christmas supplies in the aisles.
There were Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments and Christmas cookies and carved crèche sets.
The only thing which was missing was Burl Ives singing "Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas" and the Salvation Army bell ringer standing at the store's entrance.
By the end of the month it is expected that Sears, JCPenney and Wal-Mart will have done the same. And in case anyone is thinking these stores are jumping the gun, according to a recent survey, 37 percent of shoppers plan to do some Christmas shopping before Reformation Day.
With all the bad news going around this past year, it seems there is a real thirst for some good news.
Now I have no serious problem with the stores doing what they're doing. Even if I did, it wouldn't stop them. But I would add, if a person is really looking for good news of great joy, he can't do any better than picking up the Scripture and -- in his mind, heart and soul -- go out to the hillsides of Bethlehem and sit for a while with some shepherds.
If you do, you will hear God's ambassador-angel say, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ... And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2:10-11, 13-14).
And while the stores are filled with pretty Christmas things, and stuff which might make you say, "Oh, this is just what I wanted"... if you go with the shepherds to see this thing which the Lord has told you about, you will see that which you always needed: God's Son, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of your soul, the forgiver of your sins.
PS ~ For those who think this is too early for a Christmas devotion, I can only say I don't think Costco should have all the fun!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for Jesus who is the best news I have ever heard and seen and been given. May this Christmas season be filled with the joy that He alone can bestow. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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