Luke 2: 1- 20
Sometimes when I read through the “Christmas” story I can envision the scenes like acts in a grand play. Maybe that’s because Luke 2 has been the text for many Christmas plays. I have had the privilege and blessing of watching many of them with my own children acting out the various parts. This has certainly become a well loved tradition for good reason.
Yet this account recorded for us in Luke 2 is not just a skit or play. The characters in this story are as real as you and me. 2000 years ago this event of monumental importance actually took place. The Savior of the world, Christ the Lord, was born. God became flesh! The long awaited messiah had finally come just as the scriptures foretold.
Luke 2: 7 tells us simply that Mary gave birth (like any other woman would give birth in a very natural uneventful way) and wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a feeding trough.
Certain shepherds, however, were privy to see something most human eyes will never behold. Their ordinary night suddenly became an extraordinary, supernatural event. Luke 2: 9 says “And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.”
And that was just the beginning! This awe inspiring angel then speaks to them saying…
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
While their eyes, ears, minds and hearts are trying to comprehend what is transpiring and the significance of what is being communicated it says…
“And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,”
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” v 13-14
The curtain of the heaven-lies was pulled back and these ordinary shepherds were given a glimpse of what was transpiring before the Throne of God in response to the birth of Christ. And what did the shepherds witness? The host of heaven rejoicing and praising God!
This is an incredible telling scene because angels dwell or stand in the presence of God and reflect the very heart of God. This is clearly demonstrated by a contrasting scene in Revelations 8 where heaven is described as being completely silent for “about half an hour”. A somber, grave mood flowing from the Throne fills the air because God is about to pour out His judgment upon the earth. Yet here in Luke 2 the atmosphere is one of tremendous rejoicing! Although man had long awaited the coming of the Savior even more God longed to send Him.
God’s greatest gift, the salvation of mankind, His Son had been born. This day was planned in the counsels of the trinity before the creation of the world. Making it possible for us to be reconciled to Himself because this sinless child would bear our sin.
The coming of Christ meant you and I who were objects of His wrath could, through faith in Christ, become objects of His love. For this God and His angels greatly rejoiced! Even now this same kind of rejoicing, we are told in Luke 15:10, goes on in heaven, God’s Throne room, when one sinner repents.
Stop and take time to consider the account of the birth of Jesus from God’s perspective. Allow His heart to captivate you with His tremendous love and desire for the salvation of people.
Then, like the shepherds, let it impact you so that you too go “glorifying and praising God” making him known as you celebrate this Christmas!