Archive for December, 2011

Suddenly It Was Christmas!

Posted in Blog Entry on December 25th, 2011 by James Barron – 3 Comments

It happened suddenly. In the night while we were watching over our sheep. Out in the fields and under the stars. Suddenly an angel appeared and stood before us! A mysterious, glorious light seemed to surround us, lighting the grass and rocks around us like it was day. The light was so bright we could not see the stars in the night sky. It was as if another realm had opened up to us. A realm where there was no night. We were afraid. We had never seen anything like this before. But then the angel spoke! His voice crystal clear and strong, he said to us: “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!” Born for you? Born for us? Those words seemed to explode inside all of us that night. A Savior born for me?

Then it happened again! Suddenly! But this time on a grander scale! Suddenly there appeared behind the one angel thousands of angels! The light intensified and spread even further around us under the power of the glow. We lifted up our eyes and as far as we could see there were rows and rows of angels stretching up into the sky and on both sides of us! It was like we were looking through a door, a portal, to another world! In one powerful voice they all sang a song! They sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased!” Then they all slowly faded out of sight and the darkness of night was once again around us. But this time the stars seemed different. This time the darkness did not seem so dark. This time we were not afraid! We fell to the ground shouting, laughing, stunned! A Savior for us? God is pleased with us? What does this mean? The angel told us where we would find Him. The newborn. We raced down the hill like kids playing a game. And not far from the fields we found Him. In a manger, a feeding trough, wrapped in cloths, just as the angel said. Joseph and Mary looked up at us puzzled. We just knelt. And we cried. We were not even sure why we were crying. The joy we felt was almost too much to bear. Joseph and Mary seemed to understand. A Savior was born for us. For us. The world would never be the same again. Our world would never be the same again.

What those shepherds experienced that night would forever change thier lives and even the world around them. God had come. Emmanuel. This One. This Son would be given for us. God loved the world so much that He gave us His only begotten Son. It would be this One who would take away the sin of the world. This One would remove the only thing that keeps God and men apart. He would not just cover sin. This One would take it away. No wonder the angel said he had good news to bring! Imagine living on earth for the rest of your days in union with God Himself and your sins not being counted by God anymore. Not counted anymore. Ever. At all. Imagine being able to live in the Presence of God every second of every minute of every hour of every day and your sins of the past, present and even those not yet committed in your future are not even considered by God! Good news! Those shepherds were suddenly shown something God had been planning for a long time. Since before creation. In the fullness of time He came to put away sin. Jesus was born to die that we might be born again. It was planned long ago but it is revealed suddenly. It can happen to anyone. Suddenly. Only believe. (II Corinthians 5:19-21)

- James Barron