The old story became new for me again today. Well, at least part of it did.
An angel was sent to deliver two very personal messages. Gabriel was dispatched by God to give a special message to Zacharius, a priest who was elderly and whose wife was barren. The message was that they would soon become parents by natural birth of their own. A few months later, Gabriel was once again given a special message to deliver, this time to a virgin girl named Mary. Again, this was a message of an impending pregnancy and birth. These angelic visits and conversations are recorded in the New Testament portion of the Bible, in John chapter 1.
It must have been a great honor to be the recipient of those angelic visits.
But I was reminded of the magnitude of another angelic visit which is remembered during this Christmas season.
This visit was to a group of shepherds tending to their flocks on a dark night. This story, recorded in Luke chapter 2 of the Bible, tells of this visit. It was more than just a single angel, it was “the heavenly hosts.” The original Greek language means that the sky was full of angels. This wasn’t a quiet conversation. It was the sky ripped open by the hands of the Creator Himself to reveal multiple millions of angels wearing dazzling attire which reflected the holy light of the love of God Himself. Angels singing! Angels dancing! Angels set loose on the greatest mission yet in their existence…that of announcing the birth of Jesus. The Creator was on His way to live with the created, as one of them. And all that partying was done for the benefit of some of the lowliest and loneliest of all mankind…shepherds.
It was an extreme honor to be a spectator of that angelic announcement.
It still is.
The happy message of love represented by the birth of Jesus is for EVERYONE. Not just the influential, privileged, all-put-together, or holy. It is for the lonely, forgotten, lost, abused, abandoned, questioning, hated, marginalized, sinner, imperfect, every color, every sexual orientation, every language…well, like I said, everyone!
The whole world needs to hear that loving message.
The religious world needs to remember that loving message.
I need to speak that loving message.
This party is all about YOU being loved by HIM.
You are loved!!