As we work our way toward Christmas, I find myself thinking about the angels that suddenly appeared out in the middle of a lonely field where a bunch of shepherds were taking care of the business at hand. No doubt they were having trivial conversation about where to go next to find a good watering hole and about what they would do if they ever got to sleep in a comfortable bed again. There they were with a business as usual mindset, when the sky suddenly opened up and beings from somewhere appeared and started talking to them. It had to be strange, I mean they had never even seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind or ET or even Star Wars. What a stir that must have caused!
Even today, an appearance of angels bringing a big message our way would stir some kind of buzzing conversation. After all, it’s way beyond business as usual. Let’s imagine for a moment that we’re riding along the highway in the middle of a starry night in Kansas and we’ve stopped for gas and more coffee and just as we’re coming out to head back on the highway, an incredible sight opens up in the skies over our heads. It looks like an angel, though we can’t be sure because we’ve never really seen one. As soon as the angel speaks in a voice that sounds both commanding and reassuring, we stop in our tracks. Other angels come along and before we know it the sky is full of these heavenly beings. Here we are, struck by fear and awe all at the same time.
“Don’t be afraid,” the angel says. Only we’ve seen too many movies by now to know whether to believe that or not. Something within us understands though and so the message is clear and strong and somehow exciting to our hearts and minds. The angel goes on to declare good news. Good news that we are going to be delivered from the things that have brought us suffering, or have left us feeling broken, the things we’re even too ashamed to admit. We’re going to find peace with God because God Himself has initiated the way for that to happen. God is bringing us back to Him. We’re no longer wandering and hiding like Adam and Eve fearful to hear God’s footsteps in the Garden, for now we are redeemed and by what? A baby! Yes, a little baby delivered to the world.
Getting back in the car, we’re not sure we even want to keep going through Kansas. Perhaps we should go to the place where this amazing event has occurred. Perhaps we should go to see for ourselves. After all, God just invited us to the party. He sent an incredible invitation for us to be there. We want to tell everybody we see. So let’s do just that!
This year, as you keep moving toward Christmas, listen for the Messengers. Listen for the opportunity to stop what you’re doing, to let go of the usual business and take a break, take a moment to get to the manger. Something incredible awaits you there. We have it on the Highest Authority! Glory to God!