The angel said to them: "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring joy to all the people." Luke 2:10 TEV
Just suppose -- you are out walking your dog. It's late -- almost bedtime. It's a pleasant night; the temperature is mild. Suddenly someone is standing before you. The area is at once aglow with light. Trembling uncontrollably, you drop the dog leash and cover your eyes!
This is most certainly no ordinary person. The "being" speaks: "Please don't be afraid," he says. "I have come with the best news you could ever be given. A baby has been born who is going to bring peace to this troubled world. He has come to save this miserable world from itself."
"Well," you say to yourself, "there is certainly a need for that."
He goes on. You won't find him at the hospital. There wasn't any more room on the obstetrical floor. But if you take highway 281 north five miles, turn left on the graveled road, you will find an abandoned farmstead. All that is left of the farmstead is a dilapidated barn You will find the baby there with his mother.
"Okay, I'm dreaming. That's it. Any minute now I'll wake up," you tell yourself.
Then the sky is filled with these "beings". And they are all singing -- all about peace on earth and they're praising God with every fiber of their being.
Then as suddenly as they came, they're gone. And it's like nothing happened. Except you know you will never be the same again. Do you run home, get in the car and head down hiway 281 in search of this child? Do you bow before Him and worship Him? Will your life be forever changed? Or will you be too embarrassed to tell anyone about your encounter, go home, set the alarm, get up and go to work as if nothing has happened?
This the challenge we are given every time God breaks into our ordinary lives with the Good News of Jesus's birth. It is God's gift to us. We can accept it and be changed forever. Or we can go home, set the alarm, get up and go to work as if nothing has happened.
Lord, help us to put the world on hold as we treasure the gift you offer us. May our lives truly reflect that we have accepted it. Amen.