God put the Star in the sky when his baby son was born – to be like a spotlight! A bright star spotlight - Lighting up the darkness to point people to where the baby was born.
God was very happy – He had been waiting a very long time for this moment and now He wanted to tell everyone. So, he sent out his best Angel to spread the good news. He had sent an Angel to tell Mary the Good news. He had put a special star in the sky to point to where his Son was born. And now, he was going to send a big choir of angels to sing his Happy song to the world.
Where would the Angel go first? To the King? To a palace? To a stadium filled with people??? God sent his Angel to a little hillside outside a little town in the middle of the night. He sent that Angel to sing for a bunch of raggedy old shepherds!
In those days, remember, people used to laugh at shepherds and call them names. They used to say that shepherds were smelly and thought that shepherds were nobodies.
On the hillside in the middle of the night the shepherds were doing their job. The Shepherds were watching their sheep. The angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds and their sheep, and the shepherds and the sheep were afraid.
The Angel shined as bright as the big bright star in the night sky! The Angel said, “I haven’t come to hurt you! I have come to bring good news for everyone everywhere. Today in David’s town, Bethlehem, God’s Son has been born. Follow the Star and you will find him. Follow the Star and you can see him wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. The Shepherds and the sheep were amazed when right behind the Angel there appeared a whole band of Angels and they were singing Glory to God, To God be fame and honor and Glory and all our Hoorays!
The Angels disappeared just as quickly as they appeared.
The Shepherds wanted to go see the Baby, the one the Angel had told them about and the baby to which the Star shone. So, the Shepherds left their sheep in the field and started running down off the hillside toward the town following the light of the Star.
They saw where the Light of the Star shined down on a stable and they tiptoed inside. They knelt on the dirt floor. There were all kinds of animals in the stable - cows, goats and sheep. They looked in the manger, and there was a baby wrapped in bands of cloth, just like the Angel said. This was the promised child, Heaven’s Son, The Maker of the Stars, and now He was here.
This Baby would be like the bright star shining in the night sky. A light for the whole world to see. A light chasing away darkness and Helping people to see. A light that came into the world on the night the star shone in the dark night sky and the Angel appeared to the Shepherds keeping watch over their sleeping sheep.
The Shepherds heard GOOD NEWS. And the Good News is still Good News today! Why is it important to tell the old, “old story” in new ways? It is important to tell the story, because it is our story of the amazing and miraculous love of God that took the form of a baby and came to earth to show us the full measure and extent of God’s Love for all the world! The Christmas Story isn’t just for Christmas it is for everyday! Because every day the Love of God surrounds us and the Love of God continues to seek us and meet us where ever we are.
You and I have heard the story –and it is our opportunity to share the story of God’s Love through the ways we live out its meaning everyday; ways that are real and relevant, like taking food to a neighbor who has just come home from the hospital. Offering to drive the family you met in the grocery store parking lot to their apartment because their car broke down. Checking in on the woman who lives alone up the street from your house to make sure she is taking her medicine… and the list goes on…
Living out the Christmas Story isn’t just for Christmas. The star in the sky that guided the shepherds to find the Christ Child would pale in comparison to the light of God’s Love in the person of Jesus! As followers of Jesus, we are to let that light shine on all the World! The gift of God’s Love is realized in the form of EMMANUEL – God with us.
When the Shepherds heard the Good News “the Shepherds left their sheep in the field and started running down the hillside toward the town following the light of the Star.” I don’t know about you, but I believe that is exactly what we are supposed to do too! Run to the Light! The Light of God’s Love – Jesus! Share the Good News of Jesus’ Love with everyone, in every way every day!
It’s too bad the Christmas Story is only read and told at Christmas! Or is it limited to Christmas? I have seen the light of God’s Love shown in some miraculous and amazing ways and I know you have too! I invite you to keep the Love of Christmas shining brightly in as many ways as you can, in as many places as you can, and as often as you can.
May the light of God’s Love fill your heart and home this Christmas and throughout the year!
I’ll see you here for worship this Sunday!