Luke 2:20 (NLT)
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The number of heavenly envoys in the Christmas story is staggering.
- An angel notifies Zechariah (Luke 1:11)
- An angel visits Mary (Luke 1:28)
- An angel instructs Joseph in a dream (Matt 1:20)
- An angel informs the Shepherds (Luke 2:9)
- A Heavenly Choir of angels sing to the Shepherds (Luke 2:13)
- A dream guides the Wise Men (Matt 2:12)
- An angel in a dream warns Joseph to flee (Matt 2:13)
- An angel in a dream instructs Joseph to return (Matt 2:19-20)
There is no other time when so many angels appear to so many people, when so many dreams interrupt troubled sleep. It gives us a clue into the importance of the moment, doesn’t it?
This is no minor matter. It isn’t a trivial time. This is the big one! This is the event that changes the world. Even our dating system revolves around this pivotal birth. And the angels’ guidance hits the mark every single time. John is born. Mary is with child. The shepherds find what they are looking for. The Magi don’t have to keep the receipts and return their gifts! In the words of Luke, everything worked perfectly, “just as they had been told”.
It is a reassuring aspect of the story, isn’t it? When God directs, you are led to the right place. You are on the right path. You are taking the appropriate steps. It might not make sense, but it is right. It might not fit into your schedule, but it is the perfect time. It might be anything other than what you would chose, but it is the will of God for your life.
The angels spoke and they listened: Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and Wise Men alike. They listened. They trusted. And they were blessed because of it.
Dearest God of Light,
Thank you for your heavenly messengers. Thank you for the voices who joined in chorus, who proclaimed truth, who offered guidance and direction.
May those same emissaries speak into our lives, and may we have the courage to listen, to believe, and obey.
For we know that your word is always true. It is always as we’ve been told. This is a truth in which we can hold on to. It is a blessing we can believe.