Did you ever think about the people who first missed Jesus' birth? The religious leaders of Israel didn’t realize the Father had sent the Savior, even though announced through the prophet Isaiah, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). They envisioned the Messiah to be a mighty warrior who would free the nation, not that He would be born in a stable or that God’s salvation would be accomplished on a cross. Their own expectations got in the way...and they missed it.
Yet recall the people who did witness Jesus’ birth. Luke tells us, “There were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord'” (Luke 2:8-11).
It was in the stillness of that quiet night in Bethlehem that the announcement came. And because their ears and hearts were open, the shepherds were blessed in an awesome way.
We tend to have high expectations for the Christmas season. In our efforts to find the perfect gifts, decorate the perfect house, make the perfect cookies, throw and attend the best Christmas parties, we can easily miss it.
This Christmas, make sure to enjoy moments of silence and meditate upon God’s gifts of salvation, His character, and His Holy Word. Learn to look for Him in the stillness of the day, and anticipate His glory in the most unexpected places. It will be the best gift you can give yourself this year.
Celebrating His Birth Together...
Note: Adapted from a blog by Charles Stanley