You know what my all-time favorite, churchy Christmas song is this time of year? That’s an easy answer…..”Angels We Have Heard on High“…. Simple lyrics with a mash-up of Latin thrown into the mix:
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing through the night
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo
For years the story of the Christmas miracle, that miracle of the birth of a Savior, tends to focus on a young virgin woman, unmarried, and somehow pregnant. Today, I want to share some thoughts on another side of this miracle. Imagine if you will that God has assembled a platoon of his best angels. He tells them he is going to send his son to the world, and that this son, born human, will be a savior to all people. God tells the angels, “Come with a plan on how we’ll announce this spectacular event….and let me know your thoughts ASAP.”
God leaves the room and the angels are left to come up with a plan.
The Bible shares stories about angels throughout the chapters. Angels are used to deliver important messages such as:
- Life and Death
- Victory and Defeat
- Judgement and Mercy
But this would be the most spectacular news yet. The angels know they need lots of flash, bang, and fanfare.
The leader of the angels might be heard saying, “Let’s make a huge splash with the announcement. Maybe have angels descending onto a huge gathering of elders and chief priests in the most important temple in all of Jerusalem”.
The angels package up their plan and God returns to hear their idea.
They pitch the idea….and it falls completely flat on our Heavenly Father.
Now God delivers his plan to the angels to implement. It goes something like this.
God says, “You’re going to deliver the good news of the saviour’s birth….to a handful of shepherds who are tending to their flocks.”
The angels are stunned. “Huh…..”, they must have said back to God.
“Okay, Father,” says one of the angels….”Then will the shepherds race to the temple, interrupt the high priests and announce the great news?”
“Nope”, says God. “You’re going to alert the shepherds in the middle of the night. It will be cold, and lonely, and quiet and no one else will be around. Even the sheep will be sleeping.”
“And you know what else,” asks God. “My son’s earthly parents won’t be married. Mary, my son’s earthly mother, will be a virgin yet pregnant. And this will be a source of great controversy”.
“But, Father,” the angels will plead one final time. “Surely, the birth will be at a place of great splendor, because only under those conditions could a future king arrive?”
“Wrong again. Mary and Joseph, my son’s earthly parents, will travel to the city of David, called Bethlehem. Mary will travel on the back of a mule and they will not be able to find any comfortable place to sleep. There will be one small inn…but no rooms will be available. But a kind-hearted inn keeper will allow them to rest in the barn behind the inn.” says God. “And that will be the place of this great miracle….”.
Probably not the actual planning session that took place in Heaven. But I hope you can see my point.
I’ve often talked about shepherds in some of my devotionals. I love the stories of shepherds and sheep. God knew he could announce the birth to shepherds watching their flocks at night because they would not think twice about the message. They’d take it at face value. In fact, scripture reminds us that upon hearing the news, the shepherds “hurried off” to see the Christ-child.
Where are you looking for our Saviour this Christmas season? Are you looking at all?
Today marks our final WAWA for the year as we take a couple weeks off the rest, relax, and enjoy the Christmas season. My hope and my prayers for you this week, is that we all find our Saviour in the simple ways all around us. God doesn’t want us to honor this season with fireworks and fanfare. Be kind. Love one another. Be peaceful. Be humble. Think of others less fortunate. Pray. And remember the reason for the season.
I’ll leave you with a great quote from a very smart man:
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is….” Albert Einstein
Look for the miracle of Christ’s birth. And look for the miracles all around.
Merry Christmas and blessings to all.