That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 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.”Luke 2:8-14
Our heavenly Father was the first to celebrate Christmas. He was the first one to document the birthday of Jesus—supernaturally, with music performed before humble shepherds and faraway kings. When I think about the wonders of the first Christmas—astonishing, bewildering, unimaginable beings appearing on the earth, extraterrestrial choirs filling the sky, a heretofore unknown star rising in the heavens, learned kings traveling from afar, a virgin birth in the midst of a love story, an old woman and an old man marveling and speaking of the Messiah as the baby is dedicated—I can’t help but think they were part of God’s plan to help us celebrate Jesus’ arrival.
Christmas is a time when we bring friends and family into our home to be refreshed. It is a time of personal worship and a time of joy. It’s a time of work and preparation, but all to say “I love you” and “God loves us and is worthy of our celebration of Him.” In these traditions we understand that God wanted us to put aside special times for the passing down of His story and His love.
How will you pass down and celebrate the celebration of God on this day we celebrate the birthday of Jesus? May your Christmas be full of His love, peace, and hope!