“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly 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.” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven…” Matthew 1.9-15
Preparing for Christmas is an event shared by many both by people on earth but more importantly by those in heaven. The angels who are messengers of God, were the first to announce the coming of the Christ child.
They appeared to Mary to tell her she was going to have a child, and to Joseph to make sure he remained married to Mary. They appeared to Elizabeth, Zechariah and Simeon. And they appeared to the shepherds in the field who were tending their flocks. These divine messengers were doing that which they were created to do and announce the coming of the Messiah.
In this passage, one angel appeared to the shepherds as “the glory of the Lord shone around them.” This angels brings “good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” And then he goes on to announce the coming of the Christ. But that’s not all! Suddenly, not just one but an entire host of angels (many than one — I picture dozens!) give praise to God and say, “Glory to God on the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rest.” Then the scripture tells us when they finished, they went up to heaven.
How did they angels prepare for Christmas? They announced his arrival. They appeared to all the key players in the story and proclaimed the arrival of the King!
Shouldn’t we do the same? We are his light in this world where many do not have his hope, grace, life or forgiveness. Why not proclaim his goodness to all that we meet whether in word or deed. Like the angels who proclaimed Jesus’ coming, so we can proclaim his arrival this year at Christmas.
“O Lord you are good. I praise you as the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the God with us. Immanuel. Come now, Holy Spirit, and fill me with your power and love. Help me walk in your steps today, blessing those you’ve blessed and bearing witness to your light in this world. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen