READING: Joshua 16-18, Luke 2:1-24
“Glory to God in the highest.”
I can only imagine what that night must have been like. They were only lowly shepherds doing their work. All was happening as it normally did, sounds echoing in the night and stars shining in the sky. Then, everything changed.
An angel of the Lord suddenly stood with them, and God’s glory shone around them. Their fear was deep; they were “terribly frightened” (Luke 2:9). And, why not? Never had they seen anything quite like this. God’s glory itself must have been overwhelming. And, then, as if all these things weren’t more than they could handle, the angel spoke to them: “Do not be afraid” (Luke 2:10).
Don’t be afraid? How do you not be afraid when the skies radiate with God’s glory, an angel shows up, and that angel then actually speaks to you? Fear would seem to have been a natural and honest response to these events. Then, the story was not over. A chorus of angels next erupted in the heavens: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). God had something glorious to announce, and He used the heavens to get it done.
So awe-inspiring was that moment for the shepherds that they decided to head to Bethlehem to see if it were all true. There, they saw the baby Jesus lying in a manger. The King of Kings was born not in a king’s house, but in a manger. There, the shepherds saw God – the God who lowered Himself to become a man that He might redeem people. It’s no wonder they “went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20). God had come in a way that could not be described as anything less than miraculous.
Here’s what I think about, though, today: the fact that God came to me personally, drew me to Himself, and made me His child by forgiving my sin through the blood of His Son is no less miraculous. My story may not have the glamor of angelic announcements, but it’s still the story of God’s coming to an undeserving sinner whose stench of sin was no less than the odor of animals surrounding the manger of His Son. All I can do in turn is glorify and praise Him!
- With the spirit of a child at Christmas time, go back and read the stories of Luke 2.
- Tell someone today why it matters that God came to us.
PRAYER: “Father, thank You for sending Your Son to redeem me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 19-21, Luke 2:25-52