Scripture and a Song: O Holy Night

SONG: My favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night. As a child growing up in church, I remember a man who would sing it every Christmas Eve.  It was hauntingly beautiful to hear. I’ve chosen Josh Groban’s version because it reminds me of the rendition from my youth. My particular favorite lines of the song are:

o-holy-nightTruly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease

SCRIPTURE: I am fascinated by the angelic proclamation of Jesus’ birth to a most unusual audience. The first people to learn of the birth of the Savior were the shepherds. They were out, far removed from town, tending to their flocks when they were confronted with the most amazing news imaginable.

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.
Luke 2:8-11

Everything about the Christmas story is unlikely and, frankly, a bit backwards, which is exactly what makes it so plausible. A teenage girl’s baby = savior of the world? YES. The legitimacy of the Christmas story is clear to me because mankind would never fabricate that the King of Kings, the Messiah, was born in such a lowly situation. God is no respecter of persons or rank.  He chose to allow some of the lowest people in society, the simple shepherds, to be the first to know this great news, not the religious leaders, the king or the rich.  That flies in the face of the value system of the world.  When we examine the overall picture of Jesus’ life and ministry, the shepherd audience makes perfect sense. He clearly gravitated towards the disenfranchised and desperate. He kept company with tax-collectors, prostitutes, lepers and fishermen. He was a humble Servant-King. He washed feet (an unspeakably lowly job), talked publicly with a Samaritan woman, touched the untouchable, and flouted conventional social practices in most of His dealings with people. It seems clear and deliberate that the shepherds, representatives of the poor and lowly of society, were chosen as a foreshadowing of the kind of kingship Jesus would have. He even refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11. The fact that the shepherds were first to know of Jesus’ birth is a message to everyone that ALL people are welcome in God’s kingdom, regardless of station in life. “His law is love, and His gospel is peace” is a stark contrast to the society that He was born into. The Law had a stranglehold on society that could only be broken by grace, God’s perfect grace. A holy night long ago transformed humanity.  The choice of a humble first audience was a sign that Jesus was born and would die for all, without prejudice. What a Savior. May we approach others as He did, with open arms and lavish love.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus on that cold night to be the Savior of the World. Thank You that You love all people and are no respecter of persons. Please help me to be the same way, to love the unlovable and the outcast. Help me to demonstrate love towards all people and live my life in such a way that they will know that I belong to You.  I bless Your name and thank You for your willingness to live in humility so that I may live forever in victory. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.

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