8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 1920 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
We assume a lot of things about Christmas that aren't necessarily true. For example we tend to think of angels in the Christmas story as cute little kids in a nativity play but in reality the shepherds were terrified of them! We think Christmas is all about family, all about kids. If that's the case then maybe somebody better tell God about that because he's chosen to reveal it to some shepherds who were probably rough young blokes, working outdoors, unsociable hours, with animals, away from whatever family they had. When we think of the "real meaning" of Christmas, we think of kids in nice Christmas jumpers, God thinks about revealing it to some sweaty men in a field.
The angels don't turn up and say "we're thinking about starting a new holiday, everyone be nice to each other". They tell them about Jesus. they tell them that he is a Saviour. This is an unpopular idea because to need a saviour it means you're in some sort of situation where you need saving. We don't want to admit it but the fact is: we need saving. We need to recognise that we need saving. We get things wrong, we make a mess of things, we need help and we're kidding ourselves if we think we don't. Our pride makes it very difficult to accept that we need help - we act like we've got it all sorted but we haven't. Jesus came for that reason, to save us.
We're lost, we need someone to find us. We're sick, we need a remedy. We're dying, we need a Saviour.