Last December, a friend decided to dispense with the lengthy letter about her family’s antics that calendar year. Instead she included a Letterman style top ten list for the family activities. At the end of the list she stated, “And in the fine tradition of having a baby in every state we live in, we will be welcoming another child into our family.” They’ve moved almost as much as we have, and really do seem to have a baby everywhere there go. You can follow their journey across America by their children.
It seems sometimes we strive towards creativity, to set our announcement apart from others. A couple of years ago in the mail I found a card from an old high school friend. I opened it up and found a lovely picture of a baby nestled inside a bread basket surrounded by grapes and a bottle of wine. The script stated, “We proudly present our newest vintage… made from the ideal blend of David and Melinda and intended to perfectly compliment Katie Elizabeth.”
While this was not only lovely but high in creativity, nothing matches the announcement of the birth of Christ. While the circumstances surrounding the birth were humble, the announcement was anything but. The Lord, however, did not send the announcement to business contacts, or the old high school friends, or even those social contacts we simply “can’t leave out”. Those were the people that missed the glorious occasion for one reason or another. Instead, the Lord turned to weary shepherds.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the aglory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you agood tidings of great b joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is aborn this day in the city of David a bSaviour, which is Christ the cLord.
12 And this shall be a asign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 aGlory to God in the highest, and on earth bpeace, good will toward men.
– Luke 2:8-14
Would a businessman say, “That’s great news. Let me check my calendar to see when I can drop in”? Would a doctor reply, “That’s fabulous. Let me finish with my patients and my rounds before I come by”? Would a tax collector remark, “Well darn, now you get a child tax credit and I don’t get as much to give to the government” and begun crunching numbers? Would we file this away to attend in the future, or would we join in with the shepherds?