Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
"Let's go see what's happening over there." Our Gospel reading from Luke 2:15-20 has all the makings of a great road trip story. The shepherds, probably not very far from Bethlehem, received an angelic message. They don't quite know what to make of it. After all, it isn't just every night that angels appear to you telling you about a Messiah. In fact, it isn't just every night that angels appear to you period.
What would you do if you heard the greatest event in all history was happening, and you were not that far from it? Would you quickly appoint somebody to cover you at work and then head over there? You'd want to know what was going on. You'd want to see it.
What did they find? A young couple and a baby. Verses 17-19 speak volumes. After they met Jesus, they told people about what the angels had said, and, we assume, what they had seen in the manger. People "wondered at what the shepherds had told them." No doubt, some of them wondered what the shepherds were thinking or how they came by such a strange idea, but others were in amazement at what God had done. Mary also kept this in her heart. She heard the message and she understood it, more and more, as time went on.
As we celebrate Christmas, may we also reflect on these amazing facts. God can be incarnate, in a perfectly human child. God can reveal his plan through the Scripture and through special signs. And he can accomplish his will. His will is for the good of all humanity, that we may be redeemed from sin and adopted as God's children, heirs of heaven, through Jesus.
That's quite a baby they found lying in the manger. God with us.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.