Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared
If I had been one of the angels in that great company, I probably would have wondered about God’s strange plans. Having firsthand experience of God’s luminous glory but also having seen the filth that had overrun creation, I would have wondered why the holy God still cared about such a disgusting place. Why spend any time on that dump of a planet?
Then, when the assignment came to announce the entrance of his Son into the world, I would have expected God to send me to Rome or Ephesus—one of the major cultural centers of the day. But why would he choose the fields outside Bethlehem? And why would the audience for our angel choir be a bunch of insignificant shepherds? “God,” I would have asked, “are you serious?”
But then maybe I would have remembered that God had a gracious habit of sending angels as “ministering spirits to serve those who will inherit salvation” (see Hebrews 1:14) and even to bring personal messages to some of them. Maybe I would have remembered hearing God’s promise of a Messiah who would enter the world, suffer, and die on behalf of the rebels there. But even if I had remembered all of those things, I probably still would have shaken my head in amazement that God would do these things. It would simply have seemed too amazing to be true!
Dear God, we praise you for your glorious grace, which you have given in the One you love. We are in awe, and we thank you for your lavish love! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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