We all know the story. We’ve heard it a thousand times and again every year around this time. And in case we might have temporarily forgotten it, we are retold it by tv programs, Christmas pageants and choir cantatas.
Charlie Brown in frustration asks who knows what Christmas really means. Linus takes the stage and paraphrases Luke.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14 NIV
There is a familiarity to the story that makes us feel secure and rooted. We can count on it to order our lives.
Yet familiarity can dull anticipation. It may not breed contempt but it does lack a sense of expectancy. Children find comfort in reading the same storybooks every day but this sense of looking forward to the books is hardly dampened by the repetition. Let us take a lesson from our children and not lose our excitement no matter how many times the cow jumps over the moon.
The story we have to tell is no fairy tale. How much more inspiring is the Truth?
How awesome is our God?!
Dear God, while You reign from heaven above, You live and love in the midst of Your creation. Never leave us alone. We need You too much. Amen.