Perhaps the shepherds were staring into the starry night sky, marveling at the beauty and wonder of creation. Staring up into the inky black heavens one can see stars that spread farther than we can even possibly imagine. Each star is formed and fashioned as works of engineering and art beyond which we can possibly comprehend. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands.”
And then suddenly the night sky was broken by the message of an angel sent to tell these ordinary shepherds that the Lord of all creation, the one who formed and fashioned these works of wonder and awe had come to love and redeem us. For a moment creation stood still to watch the creator of all the universe humbly come into the world as a tiny baby born in a manger. God was not just a creator far removed from us, but a savior who had come to love us, to share life, and give his life that we might have forgiveness and new life. God had truly become-Immanuel, God with us! “Tidings of great joy for all people!” And with that joyful note the heavens broke forth with the sings of heavenly choirs who could not help but sing glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all people who seek this savior.
So the shepherds left their flocks and their work and their worries, and journeyed to see this miracle. . .They came and knelt down in quiet wonder before the Lord of the universe in a manger. Won’t YOU come! Set aside your work and worry for a moment and kneel in quiet hush before this Lord of all creation and see in his face the face of God’s love. Kneel before him and feel your heart touched as only the Creator of life and giver of new life can touch a heart. For the Creator of the universe has come to love you to give you new life! Shhhh listen for a moment and you can hear angels sing. . .and like Mary treasure this message and open your heart to God’s amazing love. . .
(Verse of the week)
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 all on whom his favor rests.”
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.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, 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. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2.8-19)
(Prayer of the week)
Loving Heavenly Father, I open my heart to your amazing love, forgive me of failures of the past, and give me new life through the miracle of Christ. Fill my life with the true gifts of Christmas . . .your love and hope and peace and joy. May I find a new purpose in life and a new promise for the future, through your grace and to your glory. Amen.
Amid the hustle and bustle of Christmas, open your heart to God’s amazing love…and the miracle of Christmas!
Merry Christmas!—Pastor TJ
(quote of the week)
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”--Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol