There is anxiety in the air surrounding the uncertainties of the pandemic which the headlines reflect. Untimely, un-precedented and unwanted restrictions might follow, but the truth shall set you free. Four hundred years of silence hung over the land as the wait for the arrival of the Messiah continued. Lowly shepherds were keeping an eye on their flocks through the night, though suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them.
The glory of God was so potent that they were greatly afraid since that which was holy appeared to the ordinary. Good tidings of such magnitude and unbridled joy were to be announced that would affect the whole of humanity. That very day in the city of David, the Lord Jesus our Saviour and Messiah was born. It is a wonder that as Wesley puts it, “Our God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man”, was brought into our world in a feeding trough.
A multitude of heavenly hosts proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men!” The appropriate response for us to is to worship, adore and glorify the Prince of Peace whose origins are from of old, from everlasting, and of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David and His kingdom.
Their reaction was the opposite of the callous and calculating king Herod who would later send the magi to Bethlehem to make enquiries and to report on their findings. They made haste to worship the new-born king. Furthermore, they broadcast what had been told them concerning the Child. Is it any surprise that those who heard what the shepherds told them marvelled? Oh, that we would do the same and lift our eyes from our current conditions and expectations and look up to the Saviour.
Mary kept those things and pondered them in her heart, and it is good and right that we also hold those truths closely and deeply and reflect on the birth of our Lord. The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God. Immanuel had come and visited His people. We have every reason to glorify and praise our Redeemer, proclaim the good news, and spread His praise from shore to shore.
Jon Taylor 18th December 2020