As you gather with family and loved ones, take time to read the account of the Nativity together!
There is no indication of angelic GPS or even verbal directions to guide the shepherds to the manger. There is also no mention of confusion or frantic discussion about an extensive search for the baby.
Temple shepherds were the first to hear the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth. The angel’s message brought overwhelming joy to the shepherds because their knowledge of Scripture undoubtedly included the prophecies concerning the Messiah.
The drama unfolding on the night of Jesus’ birth has captured the imagination of Christians through the centuries. By God’s grace, we share in the benefits of the awesome angelic announcement!
Our romanticized impressions of that historic moment of the angelic announcement to the shepherds often fails to take into account the tumultuous tyranny of Roman occupation in Israel. The reality of peace must have seemed elusive to shepherds who first heard the message of, “peace, goodwill toward men.”
While it is vital we recognize Jesus’ perfect humanity, that His humanity is coupled with absolute deity defines the uniqueness of the Incarnation.
Contrary to artistic depictions, no aura, halo or nimbus distinguished Jesus from any other human baby!
The babe in the manger is the proper focus as we prepare our hearts and minds this Christmas season. But, never forget that the One wrapped in swaddling cloths was none other than God Incarnate—Immanuel.
While the Western world seems to have forgotten the significance, our celebration of Jesus’ birth and His resurrection on Easter Sunday is an acknowledgement of the historically documented truth that God appointed these set times to accomplish His purposes.
God, who sees the totality of history from beginning to end, has set specific times for the events of history. History is not careening out of control toward an uncertain end, but rather is unfolding according to an overarching plan.