As my alarm radio sounded, the first thing I heard was, “Though no official word has been given, Prime Minister Tony Blair is now giving his own confirmation that Saddam Hussein has been captured.” Simultaneously, my wife and I sat up in bed, as if to say without words, “Did you hear that?” No snooze this morning—indeed we had heard correctly what everyone would soon know. “Have you heard the good news,” I asked the lady who sold me coffee. “Praise Jesus,” she said, “That is good news.” I walked outside the store to see the newspaperman filling his machines. He knew. In fact he was lamenting that Sadaam’s capture did not happen early enough to be in the paper. “You will sell all of your papers tomorrow,” I assured him. My next stop was an early morning prayer group. None of those men knew yet. I had the great pleasure of telling them the good news.
Later that day I thought of the good news the shepherds heard that glorious night in Bethlehem. “Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” And then the shepherds “made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”
As I thought about the shepherds’ joy, I felt a little bit awkward about my joy. Indeed, Saddam’s capture was good news, but very small in comparison to the good news that a Saviour has been born for all people.
Merry Christmas everyone, and let’s go tell the good news.
If you are in Lafayette, join us tonight at 5:00 p.m. for Christmas Eve Service.