...And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Ah, yes. "The Christmas story," you say. But, did you read it? Did you contemplate each word? Visualize each scene? Did you give your heart a chance to feel the story you've had memorized since childhood? If not, I invite you to read it again. See it. Feel it. Let it sink in.
That's what I did this morning. I opened my Bible and decided that I wouldn't skim over the story I've taught a hundred times. I decided that I was just hungry enough for the Bread of Life, just thirsty enough for the Living Water that I would ask that God speak to me- even in a story I've committed to memory. And, He did! Look closely with me at the wording of the angel of God:
May our "Great joy" motivate every tribe, tongue and nation to hurry to the Messiah!