Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields,
keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” –Luke 2:8-14 NKJV
Most of us have heard it: the sweet Christmas song from which this month’s devotion is entitled. As I hummed the words to this song while sitting in the gridlock of a busy Dallas freeway (#TheStruggle), my mind went back to childhood days when “the Christmas story” was new and fresh.
I remembered how intently I’d listened to my Sunday School teacher when she told our class about the birth of Jesus. With the gospel of Luke serving as her reference, she transported us back in time as she detailed the events surrounding this most wondrous of births.
I thought about the yearly Christmas plays I had participated in from a little girl; how proud I was to even be in the annual production, much less to dress up in the same styles as the in biblical times. And to finally get to play the coveted part of Mary, the Mother of Jesus – my goodness, you couldn’t tell me anything!
That memory literally made me “LOL,” and then my heart immediately filled with praise and thanksgiving. I was so grateful for the day I came to genuinely understand the reality and power of the birth of the Christ Child. I marveled at the fact God so loved not only me, but the entire world – so much so He sent His only begotten Son to die on our behalf.
I was grateful for the “meek and lowly Jesus” who wasn’t born in a grand palace, but instead, in a smelly barn. I was thankful His birth was so meaningful to the destiny of mankind, angels had to break into song to herald His arrival!
As we draw to the close of 2017, anticipating the New Year, I just want to check in with you and ask, “Do you hear the angels singing?” Please don’t get so caught up in the tinsel and glitter, the gift-giving and gift-buying, and the hoopla and sheer commercialism of some aspects of the Christmas season you miss the true wonder of this special time. All over the world, Christians are celebrating the birth of Christ. Pause, reflect, stand still and listen – Angels we are hearing on high!