The Greatest Birth Announcement
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder
There were shepherds 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."
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. — Luke 2: 8 – 11, 13-14 (The Message)
New parents are unmistakable. Pride fills every ounce of their beings as they burst with the joy of their new arrival. Phone calls are made almost immediately, text messages are sent in haste, and often the newborn’s picture is posted on a family website within hours of their child’s birth. The proud parents want the whole world to know that the child they have been eagerly anticipating during the past nine months has finally arrived.
But what if you’ve been waiting for hundreds of years? Prophecies about the birth of Jesus date back hundreds of years before his birth. And finally the time had come. Jesus was here at last and what did God do? He sent out the greatest birth announcement ever, but to the most unlikely recipients.
That quiet night, the shepherds were doing what shepherds do; keeping watch over the sheep, taking turns sleeping while another stayed on duty tending the fire, and protecting the sheep. When, out of nowhere God bursts in on the scene! This has to be one of the most emotive scenes in the Bible. An angel appears and passionately announces the best news the world has ever heard. Jesus is here!
Imagine with the moment, “Hey, Hey Guys, wake up! I’ve got BIG NEWS! Jesus is here! Don’t you understand? JESUS IS HERE!!” The angel then goes on to tell the specifics of the birth, what He has come for, and where He can be found. And, if that wasn’t enough, God then sends an angel army to celebrate as the skies fill with heaven’s jubilant praise. It must have been quite an exciting experience.
This Christmas, may we be courageous enough to find the emotion surrounding Jesus’ birth and celebrate this sacred event. Like the angel, may our lives shout with excitement that the One we have waited for is here and may we boldly proclaim that He is still here today, bursting into the scene of our lives and that He is the Messiah and Master.
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Sometimes as Christians we can lose sight of the reality and depth of the biblical characters, literally sanitizing them to be some sort of perfect people instead of men and women like ourselves. As you read the Christmas story this year, take the time to find humanity in the words and celebrate that God has and continues to make himself known to all humanity today.
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