14 day plan

The Birth of Jesus

Day 13 of 14

Luke 2:8-18

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, 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 heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

Reflection: Throughout the narrative of the birth of Jesus, the concern of the Lord for the low, humble and unacknowledged is revealed time and time again. And here in fields near Bethlehem, the regard of the Lord for those in humble circumstances is shown again. Whereas royal birth announcements may usually be accompanied by a cannon fire or a trumpet fanfare or a bell peal, no other king has ever had a troupe of angels lighting up a night sky with the news. And to whom? Shepherds. The Lord does this over and over, revealing his glory to the most unexpected of witnesses.

The shepherds respond to the birth announcement as they should, with awe-filled belief and trust and then with their feet. They go and worship the new king. And the uncompromising sign that the king has arrived and the world has forever changed? A baby, wrapped in cloth, lying in a manger. A baby; that is his glorious sign.

We may want things from God written in the sky in bright lights and glorious angels. Well, he has done that. And he has also given his signs in the most humble and domestic of settings. Who are we to determine how the Lord has chosen to speak to us? And he has spoken. Our task is to take him at his word. (And yes, there’s a double meaning in that).

Prayer: Lord, you have spoken to us in your word, and through The Word, your son Jesus. Help me to hear him. Help me to open up your word and listen to your voice.