Luke 2:8-14 – “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 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; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 ” This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 ” Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” NASU
I’m sure that many if not most of us can recall some point in our childhood when we went to sleep on Christmas Eve with eager anticipation as to what the next morning would bring. Most of us did so with little thought as to what Christmas was all about, what it symbolized and represented only the anticipation of what we would receive the next morning under the tree. As I became a Christian my view of Christmas changed and as I had children my appreciation for youthful anticipation also grew.
Frequently my thoughts go to those shepherds in the fields on that eventful evening when the supernatural appearance of Angels came to them and made the incredible declaration of what was transpiring in their very region. I have no doubt that the comforting words of the Angel, “Do not be afraid…” were much needed and that most, if not all, of us, would have been quaking in our boots as well. The sight must have been so awesome and the declaration so powerful that within their hearts rose an eager anticipation that could be compared with nothing they had ever experienced.
I don’t know how much they were aware of the teachings of the revealed Word of God and the teachings of the Rabbi’s but I have no doubt that they were stirred so deeply within that they were moved to action. In the next verses, we find that after the Angels were gone they began to say to each other, “We have to go to Bethlehem and see this!” I’m sure as they made their way to a place unknown and a sight unseen they did so with hearts pounding and each step they took their EAGER ANTICIPATION and EXCITEMENT grew like the crescendo of a musical arrangement. I suspect they were about to explode emotionally as they neared the stable where the Christ was lying in a manger wrapped in unpretentious garments.
They were about to see with their eyes the CHRIST the SAVIOR of the World. How exhilarating that must have been. Yet, when we come to Christmas Eve do we come to it with eager anticipation of what the night brought and the next day would afford? I really do not care what day Jesus was actually born but the day that is set aside as the day we celebrate that birth is important to me only because of HIS BIRTH. As I come to this night I come to it with Eager Anticipation of what the Birth of Christ means to me personally and to the World collectively. So, whatever family traditions you have and enjoy I would ask that you add one more and that being to pause a moment and reflect on what THIS BIRTH means to you, your family, and mankind as a whole!
Jesus is truly the reason for the season! May God be with you as you celebrate Christmas! Blessings!