Tidings for the Tidings

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not:  for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all the people.”  Luke 2:10 K.J.V.

I love that our newsletter is called The Tidings, because tidings are the news.  Today we get news through so many different means.  It comes through newspapers, television, and internet.  It comes almost as it is happening in real-time.  No delays and no filters.  Most of what passes for news today is not so much news as it opinions or editorials.  Promoting or prompting a response or trying to persuade another to someone’s opinion.

The news we seem to receive today generally is bad or sensationalized to play toward our fears or amazement.  They are playing to the least common denominator and trying to get a reaction that is good for them.  News today seems to be an attempt to manipulate the masses rather than inform.  Each time we have an election there is an enormous amount of energy, money, and news coverage trying to persuade us to do what is best for us, which also is best for them.

The word Tidings comes to us from the root word Tidan in Old English meaning “to happen.”  What’s happening here in our midst?  What is happening in our communities?  Does our news inform or reflect where we are in our communities and world?  What about news that is for everyone?  Generally, if it is for everyone by now it is no longer news.  If it is good, it seems only to benefit a few.

The message that the angel said unto the shepherds, first don’t be afraid at this type of greeting.  The fact that an angel was there could have caused fear for sure.  How many angels have you seen?  The angel immediately tells them not to be afraid this is good news.  “For behold I bring you good tidings of great joy.”  Good news guys more than that the King James translates this passage as good tidings, meaning it is happening now.  Not it might happen or you are last to know, but it is happening right now.  How is that in the days before internet and cable news.  They hear as it is happening.

It is also interesting that the good tidings of great joy for all the people.  The angel didn’t show up to broadcast this event to the kings and dignitaries, not in the town square, but the good tidings were shared with the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night.  Not a glamorous job, not one that would have been given too many breaks or have things work out for their benefit.  The good tidings of great joy, is for all the people.  People like the shepherds and like us.  So, fear not fellow believer, there is a good happening and it is for all the people.

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