25 Days of Christmas – Christmas Guests
I remember my girls’ first Christmas. I had told my sister that we wanted to keep Christmas Day for just my husband, myself, and our girls. She wanted to bring over the presents she bought them, so I made arrangements for her to come on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure what happened but come Christmas Eve, she was a no show. I tried calling her but got no answer. Then Christmas morning arrived. We have the video recorder going and are hanging out in our pajamas opening gifts when I hear the doorbell. I go to the door and who do you think I see? My sister and her husband, with big smiles on their faces like its normal to just show up. Forget that I’ve told her for several months that I wanted the day for just us. Needless to say I didn’t handle this like Jesus would have. I said hello, and sent her on her way. It ruined my day and caused damage to our relationship. Thank God for forgiveness…today that damage has been repaired.
On the evening when Mary went into labor to deliver the son of God, God the Father sent an angel to speak to some guys about what was about to occur. And this angel invited these people over for Christmas! Let’s see what Luke chapter 2 has to say about this. “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”. And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.”
Did you get that? God sent angels to tell shepherds the Good News that His son had been born. Shepherds! Talk about reaching outcasts. Shepherds were on one of the lowest social rungs in Jewish culture. These guys spent most of their time with sheep, hanging out where sheep hung out. They were a smelly, generally uneducated lot. They were ceremonially unclean and so outcasts in their society. You might compare their caste to that of the untouchables in modern day India. And yet, it is to these people that God sends an invitation to come to Christmas.
As soon as the angelic host leaves they head to Bethlehem to see this newborn baby, God’s own son. They come just as they are, without first cleaning up. They come unclean but with a great sense of expectation. And they are rewarded with meeting the newborn Messiah, accepting Him, and then spreading the word about Him. Doesn’t this strike a familiar cord with you? We too are unclean when we first come to meet Christ. We are unworthy to be in His presence, yet he calls us to Him. And those of us who realize our need and who alone can meet it can’t help but tell everyone we meet about the gift we’ve been given. We are shepherds and God chooses to share the miracle of His son with us! This Christmas, take a minute and open the door. Let Jesus come in and celebrate His day with you. It will change your life!