“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:8-12 (MSG)
I used to love to listen to Paul Harvey, and his “Rest of the Story” radio segments. I just love to think about the story that goes before, behind and after the tales we talk about and remember. The entire Old Testament lies as the before story – several millennia since Abram’s name was changed and God promised him a blessing. His descendents knew from all the scriptures that had been written since that God would send a redeemer from their current mediocrity. I like to envision those shepherds setting up their temporary camp at the end of a busy day and after their equivalent of prime-time TV, they settled in and started to rest. Someone was watching the sheep and they would likely take turns during the night.
Have you ever tried to get teenagers to get to sleep in such a situation? If they aren’t exhausted there can be a lot of giggling and chattering and the adults are repeating, “go to sleep” for the umpteenth time. Finally there is peace… The gentle sounds of the sheep and maybe the crickets…
SUDDENLY! All the lights are on and trumpets are BLARING!!!
Who wouldn’t be shocked and stunned? Even having seen huge blockbuster movies we would all be amazed and speechless. Add to it the pure supernaturalness of God’s glory and we are all puddles of humility.
I know they were expecting something, but they had stopped expecting it NOW.
As we run headlong into the “Christmas Season” or worse the “Holiday Season” as defined by the media and marketing gurus… DON’T STOP EXPECTING JESUS TO SHOW UP! I want to go to bed expectantly and hopefully that just as I fall asleep, Christmas will come again into my life. Better yet, into each patient moment and all year long!
Merry Christmas, Christmas people!!!