by Linda Evans Shepherd @LindaShepherd
Imagine the night the first Christmas greeting rang through the skies outside the quiet town of Bethlehem. There, in a pasture, a few hills away from town, stood sleepy shepherds who were watching over their flocks beneath the twinkling stars.
They had no ambitions of seeing the glory of God until their grazing sheep began to glow as glory filled the skies. The shepherd’s shielded their eyes to gaze upon a shining figure who seemed to float above them.
This angel announced a heavenly greeting meant for every man, woman, and child:
“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” (Luke 2:11-12 NIV).
The shepherds trembled and the glory before them expanded until the entire sky was filled with God’s heavenly choir.
The angels sang: “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14 NIV).
The shepherds had never heard such voices, and they were amazed.
When the sky went dark, the shepherds ran into town, shouting the good news. The people woke up and marveled at such an announcement. But I imagine one family took a special interest. An unwed mother, still a virgin, and her fiancé, heard the shepherds’ shouts and understood their meaning.
For Mary, this Christmas greeting lay in her arms, as she placed the newborn son of God in a manger. She understood why the shepherds came to see the one of whom the angels sang.
What a moment. The birth of the light of the world celebrated in the heavens, announced to lowly shepherds, and placed in a feeding trough. Such a visitation of God’s grace came to us so that God could give us the perfect Christmas gift.
Because of this night, if we allow, Jesus’s righteousness will cover our sins so we can not only walk with God, but so that His very spirit can rest upon us.
So let’s continue to share the Christmas greeting of the angels, not only with our loved ones, but with the world.
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 NASB
About the author: Linda Shepherd Evans is the president of Right to the Heart Ministries and the CEO of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), which ministers to Christian women authors and speakers. She’s the publisher of Leading Hearts Magazine and Arise Daily. Linda is an award-winning author who has written numerous books. Her prayer books have sold over a quarter-of-a-million copies. She is an internationally recognized speaker.
Linda’s latest release, When You Need to Move a Mountain: Keys to Praying with Power, is a practical and encouraging book that explains what intercessory prayer is, how to pray as an intercessor, and how to experience victory. You’ll quickly find the specific help you need to pray for the needs close to your heart. You’ll also learn how to develop your own intercessory prayer battle strategy and to celebrate each victory with thanksgiving.
Join the conversation: Have you had the opportunity to share the meaning of Christmas during the holiday season?