“And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:10,11).
We sing, “It came upon a midnight clear…” without knowing if there was cloud cover over Bethlehem that night or not. But then, clear skies were not the most important element. A clear sight and a clear sound—that was critical.
We are introduced to the Creator God by means of written words. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).God gave those words to Moses as the Holy Spirit moved him to write them down.
We are introduced to the event of Christmas by means of written words. “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed” (Luke 2:1).
But the heart and meaning of Christmas were relayed by living messengers, who would communicate it directly to representatives of the human race. It was an extraordinary message. It required extraordinary steps.
An angelic force was dispatched from heaven. It was imperative that the humans would see and hear them clearly. The shepherds were not to be left wondering if they had been dreaming. There was to be no doubt about the exact message.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid” (Luke 2:9).
They knew what they saw. These were angels.
They knew what they heard. In Bethlehem, Christ the Lord had been born to rescue them.
They went to see it with their own eyes. Then they told others what they had seen and heard.
By the work of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Luke, they have also told us.
In stressful situations, many a message has become garbled and misunderstood. Confusion has resulted, and sometimes people perished.
Not this time. Not this message. Not the most important news a desperate people needed to hear. It has been relayed to us loud and clear: Fear not! Good tidings of great joy! To all people!
As we approach our annual celebration of your birth into the world, Lord Jesus, we are delighted to review the message once delivered to us by angels. No doubt can remain about your willingness to rescue us. No question lingers in our minds. You were born as promised. We have been rescued. Now we await the return of a squad of angels to provide our airlift home. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military