Luke 2:8-9a – And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. (NIV)
"I have a surprise for you," announced our guide on our recent journey to Israel.
Just as evening was closing in, our bus stopped, and we entered a kibbutz, where we all were loaded onto the elevator travelling to the sixth floor. We exited, crossed the wide hall, and passed through a doorway onto the roof. Then we entered into a room something like a tower enclosed on all four sides by glass. As we went in, we were handed a lighted candle.
The guide called out, "This is your surprise." We all looked over to the east of the building where the shepherds' fields lay. The huge glass windows were opened like doors. We all looked in awe and silence across the fields — where once the shepherds heard the announcement by the angels on the night Christ was born.
We took a few pictures, then one in our group started to sing "Silent Night", and we all joined in. One carol led into another, and so, with candles held high, we sang glory to His name as we looked across the shepherds' fields, where now the night drew nigh. It was a surprise that none of us will ever forget.
But imagine the surprise the shepherds experienced when the angels came across the fields with the announcement of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus. What a surprise to learn that God could come in human form as a baby — and not just a physical gift, but a spiritual gift from God!
Let us open the glass doors of our hearts and let Jesus come in. Only then can we experience the surprise of having our hearts be filled with joy.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus, born at Christmastime — a surprise for us all to wonder at and to hold close in love, sent from You as a gift for the whole world. Silence us within, so that we may truly hear the angels sing. Amen.