Focal Passage: Luke 2:8-20
Recently the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. While everyone recognized they were a good team, it seemed improbable they would become a great team. Nevertheless, this wild card team vaulted teams with better records to win the supreme prize. There was great rejoicing in St. Louis when they won game seven to end the series, a wild and wonderful celebration. But the next day their manager resigned. Surprised? Not really. Tony LaRussa had achieved great success over his 33 years of being a Major League manager. He had won three World Series titles, and he believed it was time to “move on” with his life. There is another chapter to be written.
Some might say that the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was improbable. Few people other than the prophets had predicted it would happen. It was a miracle, and it was a time of great rejoicing. Furthermore, God had ordained that it be ordinary folk, represented by the shepherds, who would be the first outsiders to see and celebrate the new-born Messiah. God’s angel told them to not be afraid.
Fear of the unknown was to be replaced with joy; the “good news of great joy” was for everyone (v. 10). To accentuate the message, God sent a whole army of angels to proclaim the wonderful message of inner and eternal peace for those who accept His holy gift. The shepherds heard the angelic celebration, and they witnessed the glorious scene of Mary and Joseph with their new-born son, lying in the simplest of beds, a manger.
They heard, they rejoiced, but then it was time to go and proclaim the message of all they had experienced. In a few hours they would be back with their sheep, but their lives would never be the same. They, too, had a new chapter to write in their lives as they had been uniquely privileged to witness, and share Christ. Like the shepherds we need to make a personal response to Jesus Christ. He is the greatest treasure. Nothing, not even a World Series ring, compares.