John begins his gospel (Jn 1:1-18) with the same simple and yet deeply profound thought that he begins his conclusion (Jn 20:31): Jesus is God, God in the flesh. Luke, the inspired New Testament historian, records for us the historical unfolding of this breath taking miraculous event in Luke 2. In this single historical narrative we find God intervening in this world in midst of daily historical context, rulers were ruling, people were being counted, achievements were being assessed, and plans were being made on a world wide scale.
Yet, the eminently wonderful, world changing, divinely powerful, historically defining, and life giving event taking place was not something employed by men, nor was it taking place in a palace of Rome. No, the wonder-filled amazing event was taking place in a humble setting involving: a common stable, some humble servants of God, and some ordinary shepherds. However, in the midst of these ordinary life events and to the amazement of all who heard the message that heaven’s brilliance had shone in the darkness of night bringing good news of great joy for all mankind and heavenly hosts have declared what is happening to be the God-glorifying event that will lead to peace among those, who find God’s favor. In this simple narrative we find this historical reality made certain: God, Himself, has come into this world to save it!
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told (Lk 2:1-20 NIV)
Peace to you in consideration of this truth,