The Beginning of a New Beginning

What are the signs we expect? The signs that let us know something is imminent; like the red button that pops out when the turkey is finally roasted. Or ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s take warning.” Especially when, to quote an insurance commercial, “life comes at you fast,” we seek signs of God’s presence, God’s grace, and God’s purpose. When we face what seems to be insurmountable impossibilities and challenges—we need a sign of HOPE!

Luke 2:8-15
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

“They were terrified” can be translated literally as “they feared with a great fear.” Yet the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid.” You know, if ONE angelic messenger caused the shepherds to “fear with a great fear,” I can’t imagine what they must have felt when a “great company of the heavenly host”…a multitude of troops of angels…the whole HEAVENLY kit & caboodle…showed up and said, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

These are the same heavenly beings who “day and night…never stop saying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” Revelation 4:8b, and “the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, the living creatures and the elders circle the throne of God and in a loud voice say, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” Revelation 5:11-14

I cannot think of any prophetic messianic texts in the first testament that included any information about a heavenly angelic pronouncement about the Messiah…I’m thinking that this “multitude of the heavenly host” was a huge surprise [understatement]! The veil between heaven and earth was pulled back to announce to these shepherds, low members of that society, that “NOW IT IS HAPPENING! The Prince of Peace, Immanuel, has been born! And here is your sign: He’s wrapped up snugly, with his mommy and daddy.”

The birth of Jesus Christ marks the beginning of a new beginning. When Immanuel, God-with-us, became a reality; when HOPE became flesh. The sign of the child tells us that the all-sovereign and all-knowing and all-powerful God has our human situation completely in hand.
“Now,” says God. “Now, I will fulfill my promise. Trust Me in the face of the impossible. Trust Me to set all things right. Trust Me; My Divine Love is revealed in this baby. Stand firm in your faith. DO NOT BE AFRAID.”

I’m praying for you,
Pastor Deb