“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 men on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2: 10-14).
Luke gives us familiar words that tell us Christmas is coming — or I should say, the birth of Christ is drawing near. Christmas is a special time of year; it holds many special memories of family gatherings with holiday celebrations, and fond memories of touching Christmas Eve services. It is sometimes hard to separate the family traditions that have grown up around the holiday of Christmas and the joy and celebration of the church for the birth of our Savior.
To me, there is still something of wonder and awe to think that one child could make such an impact on our world. You recall that angels came to announce the good news. The impact began as the shepherds trembled with fear upon seeing the angels and hearing their message. (Now don’t just read over these words, I said they saw and heard a host of angels. When was the last time you saw a host of angels? Did you quake in your boots? This stuff doesn’t happen every day!) The shepherds overcame their fear and went to Bethlehem to see for themselves.
And everything the angels said to the shepherds was coming true. They found a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Joseph and Mary were there at his side. And I could mention the Innkeeper, and people who happened to be staying at the Inn on that night. Everybody wakes up when there is a new baby.
As time went by, Wisemen came that had followed a star and they brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They believed that this child would be both a king and a savior. But who knows how many people they may have influenced as they returned home and told of what they had seen and done.
I find it amazing that the birth of Jesus would provide so much joy, so much hope and so much peace, and a love that the world has never known. Now I know that every baby brings joy and hope and love and peace to a family; but not on the same scale as Jesus did. Over two thousand years later, Jesus is still making an impact by bringing joy, hope, peace and love into the lives of countless people.
It is my hope that as we move through the Christmas season, our lives will once again be touched by the one whom the angels announced and that we will experience again a fresh breath of joy, a resounding sense of hope, and that our hearts will be filled with peace so that we might share God’s love with any that we meet.
May this be a joyous Christmas season for you and all your family!
Grace and Peace!