In the midst of the madness, I find myself almost fighting to get back to the simplicity of the Christmas narrative, found in the gospels.
The simplicity of God's love, which compelled Him to send His son.
The simplicity of Mary and Joseph's profound faith...and their willingness to say 'yes' to God, despite great personal sacrifice.
The simplicity of the manger--no headlines, no world leaders to welcome Him...just a smelly, lonely manger and animals to welcome the Son of God to this world.
The simplicity of the shepherds...outcasts, loners, nothing special...
YET, the angels appeared to THEM!
"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.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." (Luke 2:8-18)
Angels announced the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords...to shepherds.
Simple. Un-fancy. Profound.
"Gloria in Excelsis Deo"--"Glory to God in the Highest", and Peace to His people on earth.
Christmas--the birth of the baby...the entrance of God's Son, was to bring God glory and Peace to those who would believe--the shepherds first, but others too--leading all the way up to US!
This Christmas, clear out the clutter. Take some time to get back to the simple message of Jesus' birth.
Listen, sing along, and respond, as Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds did--respond in FAITH!