Rss feed

Subscribe to our Signposts-only RSS feed.


As a small non-profit with a big mission, we rely on the generous gifts of supporters like you to help our ministry prosper and grow.

Donate to


Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Susan Hanson

Saturday, December 25

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
—Luke 2:10-11

Explosion Kills 25. Jobless Rate Grows. Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife. Few of us have trouble recalling the negative headlines we see day in and day out. Indeed, when we talk about the “news” these days, we’re generally talking about bad news. Sometimes we assume there is no other kind.

What we read in the Gospel account of Jesus’ birth, however, shatters this assumption. Granted, the shepherds were afraid when they saw the angel, and rightly so: Even if they believed that angels were the messengers of God, they would hardly be expecting one to come to them. Surely, angels were meant to visit more “religious” folk, not common shepherds wandering through the countryside with their sheep.

In his 1964 bestseller Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,Marshall McLuhan first used the expression “The medium is the message” to describe the impact of technology on human life. As he put it, “we shape our tools and they in turn shape us.” We can't ever separate a message from the way that message is conveyed.

The news that came to the shepherds on Christmas night was good not only because of what it told them, but also because of how they were told. Yes, the Messiah, the Savior, had been born. But equally important, God first revealed this news to those who needed it most—poor shepherds, ordinary folks with no social standing or power. What that communicates to us about the way in which God works is very good news indeed.

O God, when I am discouraged by the things that are wrong with the world, help me to remember that underneath and through them all, your goodness is the force that gives us life and sustains us from beginning to end.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2004.