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Then & Now - Week of January 4

  • 2021 Jan 04

Can You Hear the Angels? 

Luke 2:8-14

When I read Luke's account of the Christmas story every year, a question lingers in my mind. I wonder: who heard the angels sing? 

This was arguably the greatest celebration in the history of the world, a choir, a presentation that would make the grandest human ceremony seem like a cheap stage production. 

There are several interesting things about the angelic celebration. First, this was one of only three such celebrations. First, the angels celebrated the Creation of the world. Job 38:7 tells us that while the Master Artist of Heaven painted, sculpted, and fashioned this world, "the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy." I suspect the chorus reached its climax when God reached down, gathered a handful of dust, and breathed life into a new kind of creature, man. Man was created in the image of God and given something unique: a soul. 

Then, on an otherwise ordinary night, in a dark field, among common shepherds, the Heavens once again opened and all across the horizon, filling the low hills and pasture fields were innumerable angels. And once again in Revelation, we find that same celebration occurring in Heaven. 

But let's return to that field. The angels came specifically to the shepherds. Why the shepherds? Why did they not announce in a more big, public venue like Herod's Temple or His palace. Why did they not enter the grand palaces of Caesar in Rome? 

The answer, quite simply, is that God visits those who are looking for him. Those that seek find. And so the angels visited upon a young teenage girl, her confused fiancé, a common, elderly prophet, and the shepherds. 

So who heard the angels? The shepherds did. Mary did. Joseph did. The wise men did. Anna and Simeon did. Zacharias and Elisabeth did.  

Herod didn't hear. The religious establishment didn't hear. Most of God's chosen people didn't hear. Even some in Jesus' own family wouldn't hear. 

Today, the message of the angels still rings. A Messiah has come. God has entered our world, lowered Himself and became a baby. God visited us—Immanuel is here. 

This season we celebrate Christmas, but most of the world skips right over the baby in the manger. Even many Christians are stressed, angered, and flustered. They too miss the singing of the angels. 

Don't let that be you this Christmas. Because God has come for you, to be your Savior, your Redeemer, your Lord.

The angels are singing. Are you listening?

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website:

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