The birth of the Christ Child, the Son of God, was heralded by the Angel of the Lord, accompanied by the Shekinah, the Glory of God, followed by a multitude of the Heavenly Host singing praises: ‘Hallelujah!’
And for whose benefit was this magnificent display?
Kings? Presidents? Politicians? Religious leaders?
No, it was all for a few lowly shepherds – humble, poor, obscure and unnamed rustics of whom nothing more is heard in Scripture thereafter. While today’s puffed-up prelates court the wealthy, famous and influential, so today’s wealthy, famous and powerful seek out the privileged counsel, private chapels and cathedral pulpits of those same prelates for their displays of religiosity.
But not these shepherds. No, the Lord deemed them worthy because they were lowly. They were not body-beautiful celebrities, gifted orators, powerful decision-makers or authoritative opinion-formers; they were simply ordinary men, and the Lord chose them to be among the first to know that the Christ Child was born; that the Messiah had entered history; that the Son of God had come to redeem mankind – Immanuel.
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
The real deliverer and the real fulfilment of the needs of humanity is human, one of us, flesh of our flesh. He is born to rule, born to be a king, conceived of the house and lineage of David. His name is Wonderful – a mystery of divinity in humanity; Counsellor – the oracle of wisdom; the mighty God – the Word was not just with God, but was God; the Everlasting Father – not the same person as the Father, but of one substance with the Father; the Prince of Peace – bringing a peace that passes understanding.
And so the Christ Child comes.
Wishing all readers and communicants a blessed, joyful and peaceful Christmas.