Grace and peace rest upon you who have come to be the ILT family! I trust that your Christmas plans are proceeding apace and that the celebrations will reflect both the wondrous news the angels announced to the shepherds and the sentimentality of that precious baby Jesus’ birth. While the celebration of the season often goes overboard on the sentimentality which includes the buying, the decorating, and the cooking, let us not forget the good news brought by the heavenly messengers to those on the hills of Bethlehem tending their flocks.
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. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-13).
That heavenly messenger brought those shepherds good news, the best news the world has ever heard. The good news was even accompanied by a sign: a babe lying in a manger. You most likely will not find a babe in a manger. But you will find a preacher in a pulpit. That preacher is your very own messenger sent by God to deliver the best news the world has ever heard directly to your ears. This Savior… this Christ the Lord… has come to be your Savior… Jesus Christ has come for you! That is good news, indeed!
God rest you merry!
Rev. Timothy J. Swenson
Dean of Chapel
Institute of Lutheran Theology