Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:8-14 (NKJV)
I can almost see it…
He looks around. His Father watches with grief filled eyes as Jesus scans the streets of gold, the gates of pearl, and the twelve precious stones making up the foundation of Heaven – His home.
Sinless perfection. His Father. Those He loves. Beauty. Light. It is all He has ever known. But He is about to walk away from all of it.
I can almost hear it…
Total silence from tens of thousands of angels as He removes His royal robe and crown and steps to the threshold. They don’t want to see Him go…
Yet evil awaits and He has determined to go after it, face it, and defeat it. All for love. The fight will take place in enemy territory – behind enemy lines. Where darkness reigns and evil rules. Earth.
As He heads into this battle, He will not call upon His supernatural physical strength as one might think. He will do it by transforming Himself into a baby, to be born to a young teenage virgin.
The birthplace will be a smelly, filthy horse stable – with animal dung within a few feet of where His crib – a feeding troth coated with cow slobber – will sit.
His earthly parents will be alone in this drama for more reasons than one. Their families and one-time friends are busy standing in judgment, shaking their heads at the outlandish story the virgin and her fiancé have told. They don’t realize it is a God story of a nature-defying miracle.
As incredible as it seems, I can imagine the Son looking at His Daddy and saying, “I’m ready. Let’s get this show on the road!”
I can’t help but wonder, when the baby opened His eyes as He left the womb, did He think of Home? Did He feel joy or sorrow? Or both?
Did He have you and me on His mind? That’s why He left Home…because of His love for you and me.
I don’t know the answers to those questions – or for sure if the above scenario even took place. However, I do know this; He left a perfect home in heaven to come to this stinking ‘ole earth.
And the only reason He did it was for love. A gift so amazing that as Jesus stepped through the portals of time, the sky over the shepherds field split open with the brilliance of a vast host of angels saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:14 (NKJV)
Yes, God did this because He wants peace for us and He has Good Will towards us. So, this Christmas, choose the gifts you give wisely. Gifts of time, attention, love, joy, grace, and mercy. The same priceless gifts Jesus came to give to us.
And please, as you receive gifts from others, don’t neglect the most important one of all.
He offers it to you – with great sacrifice to Himself.
Your Traveling Partner,