The Ten Days of Christmas Advent series concludes with a proclamation from unlikely characters and a treasure for the ages.
On the tenth day of Christmas, Mary and Joseph celebrated Jesus’ birth, and some local shepherds got a visit from some heavenly hosts with a familiar greeting.
Let’s pick up the story after birth of Jesus.
There were some shepherds in a nearby field keeping watch over their sheep. Shepherds were not part of the elite class, and in some cases, were viewed as outcasts.
This starry night would be a night they would never forget.
While watching their sheep, an angel visited them, and can you guess what he said?
“Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.
“Don’t be afraid!” he said.
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”Luke 2:9-12 (emphasis added)
Okay, so let’s step back for a moment. One minute you are watching over your sheep and maybe trying to catch a few “zzz’s,” and the next angel appears as bright as daylight and tells you not to be afraid.
What do you think their first reaction was?
Be afraid, be very afraid.
This was probably their first encounter with an angel; however, they were curious. The angel tells them of a baby who was born, who was different. He was the Messiah!
Even the shepherds knew the Messiah would be coming at some point, and the angel shares this with them.
“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'”Luke 2:13-14
As if one angel wasn’t terrifying enough to the shepherds, now there are armies of angels in the heavens proclaiming the birth.
This must have made them take notice in case they missed the supernatural single angel appearing to them.
They had just witnessed a miracle, and the shepherds left their sheep behind and headed to Bethlehem to see the Christ child.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, they found baby Jesus just as the angel had said – wrapped snugly in strips of cloth lying in a manger.
Here’s the best part – once they had seen the Christ child, they didn’t head back to the fields – they went out and told everyone they could find.
There must have been a lot of people in town because the census was still taking place.
As you recall, Mary was still somewhere between 12-14 years of age when Jesus was born. If she had kept a diary during this time, I think we would have found this little nugget in it.
“All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.”Luke 2:18-19
She is forever linked to the greatest gift in history – Jesus Christ.
As you celebrate Christmas with friends and family, it looks a little different than previous years, but the one true gift – Jesus Christ – is the gift that keeps on giving.
He is the reason for the season! Have a blessed Christmas!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us your Son and the gift that keeps on giving – a relationship with You. Please give us a wonderful day filled with happy memories and precious time together. Amen!