Today, on Christmas eve, many try to reenact and consider what it was like on the night God became a newborn human being.
After all those years of waiting and hoping, God made this greatest announcement of all time…to a handful of lowly shepherds on a lonely hillside in the middle of night.
They were doing their jobs as usual, guarding a flock of vulnerable sheep. They were waiting for the sun to rise so they could warm up after a brisk night in the mountains surrounding Bethlehem.
They were nameless characters, yet, eyewitnesses to the most momentous news flash ever.….
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah (Christ), the Lord.”
This announcement thundered out of the mouth of a splendiferous Angelic figure illuminated by “The glory of the Lord.” As if that wasn’t already shocking enough, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13
Wow! What a night! Who were these men? Why were they chosen above everyone else to see and hear such a wondrous message on the first Christmas eve?
As quickly as the angelic beings appeared, they disappeared. The shepherds hastily discussed what happened and ran down the craggy hillside to check out every stable in town until they found the newborn baby in a manger and Mary and Joseph just as they had been told.
After confirming the startling Good News the shepherds had heard, “…they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
Having woken up most of the town announcing Jesus’ birth, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:17
Today, approximately 2000+ years after Jesus’s birth, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, no one knows when He will return to earth. We too have promises, hints, and symbolic foreshadowing’s of this greatly anticipated event.
A handful of anonymous shepherds were the first to receive the news of Christ’s birth. People living with disabilities, many of whom He healed, were constant followers of Christ before his death on a cross. Two marginalized women were the first to see and hear that Christ had risen from the dead. A group of rag tag followers witnessed the resurrected Christ ascend into heaven and were told by “two men dressed in white” that “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11
So, like the Shepherds, the women, the disabled and the disciples…. we need tell others what we have seen and heard. We wait, as they did, for God’s remaining promises to be fulfilled. “For He is faithful who promised.” Hebrews 10:23
All of them were ordinary people like us, sinners in need of a savior. “…God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
Glory to God in the Highest!