Thursday, December 12, 2013


This is definitely a good time to ponder the Christmas story as presented to us in Luke.   This is definitely a time to think about what we really know about this awesome coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also a good time to recognize that everything that happened was in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.  Without the Old Testament, we would be at a complete loss to explain anything at all about that night. So… this may also be a great time to get online and seek out and read some of these prophecies.  For all the reasons we disparage the techno age, we have many, many reasons to embrace it as well. “Google it” has become a call to arms; get your knowledge on! (Even if you don’t use Google Search.)

After hearing a sermon this week on Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers, I have been thinking about that night. I actually started some serious thinking when I read a blog by Sharon Jaynes which presented an imaginary letter from one of the Shepherds to his possible brother about the events of that night. The thoughts in the letter are quite beautiful and even striking in the description of the disturbance of the sky as the Angels came to make their announcement.

If we take a good look at what scripture says about that, we can easily see that the universe itself was ripped open as the angels made their appearance to the shepherds. So, I am thinking, “Why didn’t more people come to see what that was all about?” Did they not see this brilliant display or hear the noise of the singing? It was happening very close to Bethlehem and there were many, many people in Bethlehem at the time. After all there was “no room in the Inn.”  People were packed in there to do their duty of registering for census. It was a small, sleepy town that turned into the “ski resort” of it’s time.

And, besides that, people all over the area should have seen what was happening.  If you have ever lived in the Midwest, where mountains are basically non existent, you will realize that storms and lightening can be seen from many, many miles away. That is one reason I was glad to get out of there when I did. I just did not appreciate being able to see that far when storms were brewing. But, also, the sighting of meteors and so called UFO’s, which involve hundreds of people, are excellent examples of how far away something in the night sky can be seen.

So… Why didn’t more people see, or hear about what went on? It seemed to be a very poorly attended Premiere. I can remember when “spotlights” whirling through the sky were used to announce Premieres and car sales and other important events because people all over the area could see these lights.  And there is a commercial out today that shows that our eyes can pick up the light of a single candle from several “football fields” away. If anyone was up and about they could have seen the light that night. Yet apparently they did not.

In one way or another, God saw to it that only the shepherds saw that amazing sight and heard those beautiful songs that the angels sang.  Why?  Was God really trying to keep the birth a secret?  That is quite doubtful.

But God did plan to present his Son exclusively to the shepherds that night, knowing that they would understand the message more clearly than any others. They would understand the message that the Lamb had come by the very presence of the baby in a feeding trough meant to feed hay and grains to the animals. They would grasp the significance of the scene and they would start the telling of the story from the perspective of shepherds; the story that God’s Lamb had come to save his people from their sin. Only a few people were privy to this glorious fulfillment of prophecy. Then the shepherds began proclaiming what they had heard and seen “which were just as they had been told” (by the Angel.)

“And all who heard it were amazed.”

God uses the least of us to proclaim the best news possible to all who will listen. This was no blazing show for all the world to see.  This was an amazing occurrence intended for a specific chosen people who would then spread the news by “word of mouth” testimony. Hmm… Perhaps this is a good time to wonder how “wordy” our own “mouths” are in giving testimony to this great night.

I am aware that this year God wants me to do something special with my own testimony of Christ and the Salvation He brings us. I put “mouths” in quotes because other ways of communicating are also used prolifically at this time of year. And with the coming of the techno age, even texting, tweeting and posting on facebook can be venues for speaking out with our testimonies. But, for sure, any Christmas cards we send out should be cards about Christ, rather than Holiday cards. Keeping Christ in Christmas is not just a spelling thing. It is a heart thing; it is the focus of all we do and how we speak up about Christ when opportunities arise.

With all the noise going on about Santa, do or don’t, and trees and multiple gifts, each one better than the last… It might be a good time to seek the facts about “St.” Nicolas. They will show that show he was just a man, like any other rich man, who did something different by giving gifts to the poor.  He gave many gifts, but he did not fly around the world in a single night giving gifts to the whole world. He gave gifts to the people around him and he gave them in the name of Christ.  

Christ is the only one who has given a gift to the whole world: the gift of his birth, death and resurrection so that we might be saved. And multitudes ignore that present all together, getting silly about a fantasy man who gives children gifts - big, fancy gifts – at Christmas. These gifts have no lasting value.  Christ’s gift has that “forever and ever” value that people try to find in fantasy. His gift to us is eternal life, and it is available to all the people around us. He wants us to tell them that.

Now I need to go and write my personal testimony to send out in my Christmas cards. You might pray for me that I will get this done and that it will affect lives for His sake. And I will pray for all of you that you might find special ways to tell you own stories of faith in Christ during this very special season of opportunity. 

May we all speak up this year and say what we know to be true in some special way of our own, just as the Shepherds did in their day of Joy. God bless you all! Amen

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