Bishop Mark Hanson: A Christmas Message

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation!"  Isaiah 52:7

When Jesus was born, angelic messengers broke the still calm of a Galilean night to sing joyously and proclaim, "This very day in David's city a Savior is born for you -- God's Promised One, your Lord." Glad tidings of great joy! Common shepherds were the first and heartiest heralds of the promised Savior's arrival then, and today the joy in Jesus' birth fills every corner of this season.

Admittedly sometimes in modern America the commercial clatter and cultural clutter of the season seem to overtake the angels' song and the shepherds' joyous news. But such a majestic message of God's salvation cannot be silenced. Some loudly lament that the world will not listen to the Gospel message, but in this season so many beckon. "Christians, sing with us. Bring your songs of Christmas, of Jesus." A few may shush you, just as there were those who would later attempt to silence Jesus and his message of God's remarkable, revolutionary mercy, even to the point of crucifixion. 

If so, then that is all the more reason to enter into the commotion and clutter, to let go of your inhibitions, to join the angels in singing and the shepherds in exulting with unashamed joy: Jesus, the Savior is born!

"Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy." "See, your salvation comes." Isaiah 52:8; 62:11

Mark S. Hanson

Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

[Used with permission]