On a night bright with stars long, long ago a woman heavy with child is anxious to find a birthing place. There were no hospitals back then, and her husband is attempting to find shelter for the night. There are no rooms left in the town; but an innkeeper takes pity on the woman looking so weary seated upon a donkey. He directs them to his stable which affords them some protection and some straw to sleep on. Thanking the innkeeper Mary and Joseph arrange the stable for the night. Exhausted Mary collapses upon the straw knowing her time is imminent. Joseph takes care of the donkey before resting beside her. During the night the long awaited child arrives and Mary and Joseph rejoice.
This is not just a normal human baby, and the angels in the heavens sing “Gloria!” awakening the shepherds in the fields with the news. A great star in the sky lights up the heavens as it shines upon the stable in the town, and the shepherds hurry to see what is happening.
Luke 2:8 (NKJ) Now there were in the same country
shepherds living out in the fields,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord
stood before them, and the glory of the Lord
shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 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.
11 For there is born to you this day
in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you:
You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths,
lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away
from them into heaven,
that the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us now go to Bethlehem
and see this thing that has come to pass,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him,
they made widely known the
saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things
and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all the things that they had heard and seen,
as it was told them.
This morning I wish you peace and joy! If you have not yet seen the Christ Child, seek Him and you shall find Him as surely as the shepherds did, and there will be great rejoicing!