Angels proclaim the Good News to the shepherds! These heavenly messengers bring into the lives of ordinary people a new age, an age with God. We, like the angels, are also messengers. Through what we say, and how we live our lives we proclaim that same Good News that Jesus Christ is born for each one
Through the Christmas period many parishes will be making preparations to give those who are visiting their church messages of hope, to make the Good News sound out loud and clear. What might you do in your parish? Bright lights, a Crib and a Christmas tree. Yes, of course. What else? Invitations going out to those we know and maybe those we don’t. Inviting people to come and hear the Good News for themselves. To make that journey to the Crib, just as the shepherds did, as they went to Bethlehem to find what had been proclaimed to them by the angel was indeed true; there lying in the manger a child who is God made man, come to earth.
What else? Maybe some messages of joy and expectation to give out to passers-by in the high street, or to passengers exiting the local railway station, returning home in the dark after a long day’s work; messages written on baubles to hang on their Christmas tree, or on small, rolled parchment-like paper, to be kept close in the wallet or purse. Messages from Scripture that bring the Good News to life: ‘A virgin will bear a son, called Emmanuel!’ ‘A child is born for us, Prince of Peace!’ ‘Glory to God in heaven, and on earth, peace!’
Whatever the message, it will not be heard if it is not proclaimed. And we are to be the proclaimers, the messengers, the earthly angels (for angel means messenger) who bring a heavenly message, the Word, Jesus Christ the Son of God, born at Christmas.
And into the New Year, the proclaiming will need to continue. Just as the shepherds returned to their ordinary lives glorifying and praising God, so we too are to take the Good News to all we encounter in our everyday lives, into their everyday lives.
Through February and March there are five Proclaim Gatherings across the diocese to help us keep that message going, not just for this year or the next, but into the continuing lives of all in our community, just like the shepherds, who will have never stopped telling everyone they met, even into their old age, of the day the angels came with a message, the day they found Jesus Christ.
Further details of the Proclaim Spring Gatherings can be found on the diocesan website https://rcdow.org.uk/faith/proclaim-spring-gatherings-2019/
Deacon Adrian Cullen, Evangelisation Coordinator