(This is from my book Pursuing the Christ, which will be rereleased for Christmas 2018. Right now, it is unavailable. Watch for it next year!)
What a concert You arranged for a few unnamed shepherds!
I think of the most beautiful voices on earth singing the grandest piece of music ever composed. The sound of the perfectly pitched and supremely resonant voices creates awe and elicits from the audience strong emotions, tears, and applause. Even when the concert is over, the music finished, the listeners’ emotions remain stirred. So I cannot even imagine how heaven’s voices proclaiming the eternal song must have sounded.
No one on earth has ever heard such a thing, except those shepherds “keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8 NKJV).
What are the lyrics in the angels’ song of salvation? A proclamation of peace! Peace that had never been available on earth was, in the presence of the shepherds, offered freely from heaven. This peace was something brand-new, never heard of before, never experienced in history—peace that only heaven knew, now offered to people on earth.
Heaven came to earth in the form of a baby. With Your birth, heaven’s rich storehouse of peace was opened and offered to earth’s inhabitants. It took a chorus of angels, with voices sweeter than any ever heard before on earth, to make such an announcement: in the highest
heaven, glory to God; on earth, peace to its people.
I imagine the scene when those honored shepherds found You, lying in a manger inside a stable. It was a place familiar to them—the place where little lambs were born, a place with smells and sounds they knew, a place where they felt at home, perhaps. And there, they encountered the Lamb of God.
They must have been ecstatic as they told the story to Mary and Joseph. They were not men of lofty words. How could they express the wonder that the angels had told them about a newborn baby, and it sounded like singing to their ears? How could they convey their amazement that the King had been born in a place where they felt at home and welcomed?
Who would believe them if they told the story of how they, lowly shepherds, had been the first to hear the rhythms of redemption?
If You chose the lowliest of men to hear the announcement of heaven’s proudest moment, then make me lowly. I choose not to seek the praise of people, but rather to crave the lowliest place, from which I can hear You clearly. To bow at Your feet is my highest aspiration. Here is where I can hear the song of the ages: glory to God and peace to people on earth
(Pursuing the Christ by jennifer kennedy dean @prayinglife #liveaprayinglife #jenniferkennedydean)