Orville and Wilbur Wright were two brothers originally from Dayton, Ohio, who are credited in history as the inventors of the airplane. As you probably would imagine, inventing an airplane was no cakewalk. Beginning in 1899, Orville and Wilbur went through a long journey together in the process of developing the airplane.
But finally, while in North Carolina in December of 1903, and after multiple attempts, the Wright brothers were successful in getting their "flying machine" off the ground. Thrilled, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet! We will be home for Christmas.” Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.” He totally missed the big news ... man had flown!
As humorous as that story may seem to us over a century after the airplane, it still is fascinating to think that the newspaper reporter actually thought the big news was that the boys would be home for Christmas instead of the fact that they had taken flight!
How easy it is for some people to miss the primary message! Luke chapter 2 is probably the most beloved birth narrative of our Lord Jesus. Specifically in these verses, we read the message given to the shepherds by the heavenly host of angelic messengers. The shepherds were told not to be afraid, and then they were told the most important part of the message ... that the Savior had been born.
But what would have happened if they had responded like the newspaper reporter from Dayton, Ohio, in 1903? What if they had overlooked the birth announcement of the Savior and simply focused on the promise that they did not have to be afraid of the angels? After all, I am sure it was startling to one moment be working out in fields as their flocks grazed and the next moment be overwhelmed by approaching angelic beings!
But praise be to God, the shepherds were able to decipher the Angels' secondary message from their primary message. The secondary message was the fact that the shepherds did not have to be afraid. Oh, but the glorious primary message was the fact that the Savior had been born in Bethlehem!
The primary message of Christmas is not the gift giving and the party gatherings. Nor is it the most recent Christmas song or movie. It is not even the annual Christmas service at church. The primary message of Christmas is Jesus Christ! If it were not for Christ, there would be no Christmas! Jesus truly is the reason for the season! Why? Because the provision of salvation offered to us by God through His Son Jesus!
The reason why the message of Christmas is Christ is because salvation is man's greatest need! Someone once said, "If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior."
Take time out this Christmas season to ponder upon the primary message of Christmas; that "in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."