"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.'”
The description of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2 is incredible for a lot of reasons. The creator of the universe comes to earth as a humble human. He is born of a virgin. Born in a manger: an animal feeding trough. His arrival is welcomed by a choir of angels and is heralded by a bright and shining star. And shepherds are the first visitors to welcome God made flesh. The miraculous and universe altering experiences on this night are held in contrast to the humble and seemingly trivial nature of a baby being born out of wedlock in a barn and being greeted by smelly sheep herders. And the phrase that bridges this gap and helps me make sense of it all is declared by the Angels as they follow God to earth and sing praises “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people”. This is what we’ve waited for. This is what we’re waiting for. This is what we are invited to participate in. Bringing good news that will cause great joy for all people. You, me, democrats, republicans, your nearest neighbors, those overseas, the rich and the poor. GOOD NEWS AND GREAT JOY FOR EVERYONE!