Angels and Shepherds

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Yesterday, I finished up reading through the New Testament for the second time this year. So today, I had the hard time of deciding where to approach my NT reading again. So, as I sat down to have some time with the Lord this morning, I decided to start with the Gospel of Luke. My totally spiritual reason for this decision was because Luke is often the most difficult Gospel for me to read, so why not start with that. I’m sure God was totally pleased with my thinking process in that (that’s sarcasm, if you didn’t get that). Anyway, this morning I started by reading and thinking about Luke chapter 1 and 2.

I hope it’s not too early to start writing blogs with a Christmas theme, but I would like to talk about a couple of things that struck me this morning about the Birth of Jesus from Luke chapter 2. As a child growing up in the Catholic church, Luke 2:1-14 was always an exciting passage to me. Our family had the  tradition of going to midnight Mass on Christmas eve. It was always a “High Mass” with a choir to sing the chants, etc., and the priest would read from Luke 2. I never really knew where the reading was from, until many years later after I became a Christ follower and was reading my very own Bible for the first time. I came to Luke 2, and there it was!! While I really liked the passage and story I never really took time to look into on a deeper level.

So, here are a couple of things that struck me today. First, was the timing of Jesus’ birth. It seemed innocent enough, A decree by Caesar was given that made everyone go to their own town to register. He had no idea he was fulfilling an ancient prophecy by doing this. So, Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem and ended up staying in the only place they could find, a dirty, stinky manger. It was here that the Savior of the world was born as a human and entered our world! He was called “Christ the Lord in Luke 2. Christ, because because He was the anointed of God to be the Savior of Israel and the Gentile world, for that matter. He was Lord because he was God, manifested in the flesh! This is not just a story that we tend to romanticize, it’s fulfilled prophecy from God Himself. To see this, we need to go to Micah 5:2: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” This prophesy was written sometime between 733 and 701 BC and was fulfilled in Gods perfect timing!

Then, there is the way the Savior came into the world. Imagine yourself as an angel in God’s heavenly choir. I read an imaginary scenario of this in a book once. Here you are in the heavenly choir practicing for what will be the glorious entry of God into the world. Your thoughts are full of excitement and anticipation of this once in a life-time, and momentous event. Then the time finally comes. The assembly of angels comes down to earth and “the glory of the Lord shown around them.” Then the angels look out of their audience. Not the kings and potentates of the world as you might expect, and not even the religious leaders of Israel, but a few scum of the earth shepherds!! What a let down this could have been!! This passage shows us a couple of things. First, it shows the only way we can come to know Christ. We can only come to Him as He came into the world, as a child born of humble circumstances. We have nothing to offer Him, He has everything to offer us. We can only come in true humility. Second, it shows us the type of Savior He would be. He would be lowly and humble while here on earth, but He will ultimately be the King of kings and the Lord of lords over all the earth!

I must admit, this passage takes on a whole new meaning for me this this time around. I am truly humbled that God would reach down to call a selfish, proud person like me to be able to know Him as my Savior. I pray that this season of Christmas will have new meaning for us. I also pray that it will not be just for “the season.” May our hearts and wills be drawn ever nearer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!

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