The Christmas That Was

“Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:20)

A teenager once asked me the question, “If Christmas was surrounded by all these miracles, why is it that 30 years later Jesus had such a hard time convincing everybody He was the Messiah?” If you will carefully read the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke, you will find the answer: the Christmas that was involved very few people.

When Angel Gabriel told an old priest what God was going to do, the priest didn’t believe God.  When Angel Gabriel informed the priest that God was going to do Christmas anyway, unbelief shut the mouth of the priest. Zechariah had the greatest sermon to preach any priest has ever had, but he was smitten with muteness. As the miracle of Christmas unfolded, he couldn’t preach his greatest sermon.

God then shared the miracle with a very godly young woman who was to be the birth mother of Jesus. Mary’s response (called the “Magnificat”) showed how godly she was, because in 10 verses of Scripture she referenced the Old Testament 23 times. But, as godly as she was, she kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. God then informed her fiancé, Joseph, because it was on a need to know basis and he surely had a need to know.

God then told some lowly shepherds what God was doing. Why tell them?  He told them because before and after they saw the miracle they told everybody about the Christmas that was.

Luke has given us 132 verses that tell us about Christmas. Are we telling people about the miracle of the Christmas that was?

Dick Woodward, 21 December 2010

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