“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2.11-14
It’s just a few days until the world celebrates the birth of the Christ and only one day since my first grandson, Oliver, was born to my son Brian and his wife Chase. I’m celebrating on many fronts this morning. Amazed that my son could be a father, and that my wife, Lane and I, could be a grandparents! Incredible how quickly life goes by.
The verse in Luke is announcing the birth of the Messiah. It’s a famous statement heard the world around in churches, Christmas pageants and songs. Read by millions and believed by millions. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you,” the text reads, “he is the Messiah, the Lord.” And what a statement it is! In those dozen plus words we learn about the greatest gift ever given. It’s a Savior, offered to the world, born into the line of David as the prophets of old foretold. He is Messiah, meaning “anointed,” and the “Lord”, Greek word is kyrios, which appears over 6,000 times in the Bible.
The sign given to the shepherds in the field that night is the state in which the babe was born – “wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” No multi-million, state-of-the-art, hospital in the big city; no trained staff of doctors, nurses, techs on hand to make sure everything comes out all right. Only Mary, Joseph and the Lord, overseeing the birth of the Son of God.
And the announcement of the birth is heralded by a great host of angels, appearing and singing (why do angels sing?), and praising God saying and singing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
The good news of the Gospel is this — that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. But before he died, he had to be born as a human, a man, born to a virgin, complete everyone of the prophecies about his birth and his life, and submit himself into the arms of a Loving Father who would rise him from the grave.
At Christmas, we are celebrating a child born to die but raised to bring us new life. And I just can’t help also looking at little baby Oliver and relating him to Jesus, a tiny, innocent, helpless baby, pure and holy, given by God as a gift to the world. All babies are gifts — be it Jesus, Oliver, or you and me. And in it all we see God’s love, who gave us the Messiah, so this life might have meaning today and for eternity to come.
“O Lord God, the timing of the birth of my grandson at this time of the year is beautiful. I am reminded of your love and your steadfastness. Thank you Lord for loving us. Thank you for your power and grace. Thank you for both your strength and your humility. To come, Lord Jesus, as a baby, and to one day return as a victorious king. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen