Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, . . . Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
Imagine, he told us, what it must have been like to be one of the shepherds. What must it have been like for them to have an angel of the Lord suddenly appearing and giving them this mind-blowing news? And even more, imagine the heavens being opened up and now seeing an entire army of angels, filling the sky, giving praise and worship to God.
Wow. As I imagined myself being one of the shepherds, nearly blinded by this magnificence, being terrified of the holiness of the moment, I was better able to worship my Lord and Savior. That he would choose lowly shepherds to be the first to hear this Good News, and to be the first people to visit Jesus in the stable, and to be the first to tell others about Him -- well, that's humbling.
And it's amazing that God would have ordained it so that I would hear the Gospel, and be moved by it to faith. And it is humbling to think that He would use me for His purpose and glory.
As one of our Christmas traditions (see #10), we always read the Christmas story to the kids, all snuggled up in our bed on Christmas morning. While I've used a variety of texts in the past (from the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, or even John 1:1-18), this year I will be reading to them from Luke 2:8-20. And I will especially try to get my kids to close their eyes and try to imagine themselves as one of the shepherds, to be in awe of the majesty of the moment.
(Hat tip to you, Buck.)