December 25, 2013
READ: Luke 2:8-14
Glory to God in highest heaven and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased (v.14).
During the final home court basketball game in December, America’s Taylor University basketball fans practise a tradition they call “Silent Night”. Once the game starts, the crowd stays completely silent. All that’s heard are the echoes of the basketball bouncing on the court, the squeak of the players’ shoes and the occasional chatter among players and coaches. The gymnasium stays quiet until the team scores its tenth point. Once that happens—the fans cut loose and the place erupts!
Two thousand years ago a group of shepherds were sitting at night in a field outside the small Judean town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:8). Their sheep could be heard milling around the hillside. Perhaps the shepherds were chatting among themselves about the events of the day or their plans for the next. Over all, it was probably a quiet, uneventful night.
But in an instant everything changed. Firstly, an angel surrounded by bright light appeared out of the darkness and announced with great joy that a baby had been born in Bethlehem that very night (vv.9-12). The shepherds were terrified. Who could blame them? An angel was probably the last thing they expected to see that night.
Before they could catch their breath and take in all that the angel had told them about the baby in a manger, a crowd of angels joined the first and began praising God. It must have been an awe-inspiring scene (vv.13-14).
Just as that night turned out to be no ordinary, quiet night, the baby the angel spoke of was no ordinary baby. This baby who made the angels burst out in song was none other than Jesus. It’s His birth the world still pauses to celebrate all these years later, for He’s the Son of God who came to change and save the world! —Jeff Olson
Read what the prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus several hundred years before His birth (Isaiah 9:6-7).
What does Jesus’ birth mean to you today? How will you break the silence this Christmas and tell others about Him?