A blessed Christmas to all our readers! May God's written Word enrich your lives as writers who write for Him. We hope to see you in 2018. Our first meeting is January 6. You will find the Focus Point from our December meeting below.
BarbaraThe Power of Words
Luke's account of the angels' appearance to the shepherds is familiar, but let's look at it from a writer's perspective. What was the point of the angels' visit? They came to pro-claim that the Messiah was born, but note the progression of their message (Luke 2:8-15):
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."Although the angels arrived on the hillside with an important announcement, they first gave the shepherds a moment to focus with their first words, "Do not be afraid.” They had the shepherds’ attention but needed to prepare them to listen. In fiction we may throw our readers right into the story, but nonfiction needs heart preparation.
The angels still didn’t make their announcement; they stated their purpose—"I bring you good news...” In our writing readers like to know where they’re headed, why they’re reading this piece. They need additional preparation.
Finally, the announcement was made,"A Savior has been born to you.” Once the shepherds were prepared, the angels told them the heart of the matter, followed by a simple explanation. As writers, when we introduce our theme it should be simple and straightforward.
The angels conclude with details, which are also a teaser. "You will find a baby…lying in a manger.” They don’t tell the shepherds what to do, but entice them to discover the truth for themselves. The result is action:
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." (v15)Isn't that the goal of our writing? We offer our readers hope, encouragement, and information with the hope they will make it theirs and take action.
Take away: Just as God is gentle with us, be gentle with your readers. Patiently prepare a path of understanding that whets their appetite for more and, hopefully, inspires action.
Photo compliments of endoftheage.blogspot.com