What was life like that night long ago in Bethlehem?
Husbands discussed their gross. Wives discussed their groceries. Children discussed their grades and games. Who could know on this very night an answer was being provided for every need discussed at every dinner table? Let your mind slip out into that night with me…
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel and multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:8-14).
At Christmas, what do you perceive to be your greatest need? Is it a health issue, family concern, or perhaps a fear of the unknown? Yes, it could be any of these because we all know this life presents problems and troubles of many dimensions. Jesus said, in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
As a child of God you and I are never outside the Father’s watchful eye. We are never ill, never in danger, never in sorrow, never in pain, or never lonely without our Father knowing and caring about us. Then, through every heartache and problem, he not only knows and cares, but he is there to protect, comfort, and supply every necessity. At some point we come to realize that a relationship with God himself is our greatest need.
Let’s take another look at our initial question. What was life like that night? Slip out into it with me once more…
This time, see the young mother caring for the baby who would one day become her Savior. Think back to her six or seven day trip to Bethlehem—not by car, but by donkey. Rain, hunger, cold, and backache. Nine months before, the angel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30). During that long trip she may have wondered about God’s favor toward her (as we often do), but tonight another angel appeared to other humble people (shepherds) and proclaimed, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
Remember, too, the promise made through Isaiah four hundred years before: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6).
This baby, once wrapped in swaddling clothes, was later wrapped in burial clothes. Neither could hold him. This God man who paid our sin debt on the cross, and rose to return to his Father’s right side, now wraps us in His loving arms. What could we possibly need or fear this Christmas? Absolutely nothing!
It’s Christmas! Christ is born! Rejoice over his life, death, resurrection, his presence in your life, and his imminent return. Celebrate!
P.S. If we are still tempted to think, “But I need…” maybe we should also consider a promise God made to all believers through the apostle Paul near the end of his letter to the Philippians: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Phil. 4:19-20).
This blog is adapted from Chapter Four of the PCA study entitled: Be Anxious For Nothing: Finding Hope In A Hectic World.
Sara DuBose is the author of five inspirational novels, scores of articles/stories, and appears in several anthologies. She is also the author of Be Anxious For Nothing: Finding Hope In A Hectic World published by CDM of the Presbyterian Church in America, and is designed for individual or group study. To review a chapter, click here. All of Sara’s books are also listed on Amazon.