Does anyone else tend to over-complicate things?
What about during the holidays? Seriously, isn’t that the plot of my 2nd favorite Christmas movie? (You serious Clark?)
Over the last few weeks, as I’ve been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading the Christmas story, I see two different storylines. One of the is absolutely magnificent. It’s wild. It has angels hanging out in a field, the heavenly host (read army) singing a bunch of songs, plus the story of an over-zealous politician counting people so he can make sure he get’s the right amount of tax money.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:8-15
And in the middle of it is a simple story.
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:16-20
Both are absolutely wild. Both are absolutely necessary. But the simple story is this, a young girl gives birth to a baby in the most normal way, and the first action of human care and worship to Jesus are the same actions of care any mother would direct towards any child. This is the miracle, the sign the shepherds were coming to check out.
Small things often seem to be inconsequential, but they can change the world.
Let’s celebrate THE story of change together this Christmas Eve. We will see you at 10am at Sterlington High.