Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. St. Luke 2:20
I wonder how often the shepherds returned from anything glorifying and praising God? Their line of work was not well looked upon; and it is hard to imagine there being many days when watching sheep would elicit such a re-action as glorifying and praising God.
And yet, that is exactly what they do when they leave the manger. They glorify and praise God upon seeing the newborn Christ child. All the problems and heartaches and hardships that they had experienced earlier that night, earlier that year, are washed away by the simple announcement of the angels, and the impromptu visit to the nondescript manger, where they see what looks like an ordinary newborn baby boy born to ordinary parents of Mary and Joseph; but who is actually the Savior of the world in the flesh.
This Christmas comes to us in much the same way the first Christmas came to the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. Not everything has gone right this past year; the economy and healthcare, not to mention global events put the future in uncertain terms. When we look back over the past year, there are some new faces, but there are also some faces that are missing. There may be more than one night, when we feel alone in a field, in the worst spot on earth, watching the hours ever so slowly pass by, knowing the future may not hold much promise.
And yet in the middle of that field, in the middle of that darkness, in the middle of the loneliness; the angels come to us and announce that the Savior has been born. At the moment when it seemed nothing could ever break through the darkness of the world, we hear the good news that Jesus is here, in our presence, shining the light of His presence into the darkness that surrounds us.
That is the power of the birth of the Christ child: His light shines into the darkest place and brings light and life. After a long, hard year, we to can glorify and praise God for the message of the angels that we hear once more echo across the plains: For unto to you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Heaven has broken into our world, and that makes the sorrowing spirit sing, for the world is brighter now, for the long promised Savior has arrived; and so we join the angels hymn: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! God Bless! Pastor Schmidt