In the stillness of the night, an Angel of the Lord appears to shepherds, to people who’ve been a symbol of what God has always been doing in the world, keeping watch by night. And in this darkness, light had entered the world, and here was God, celebrating and declaring and proclaiming this light over the people.
The biggest miracle of the birth of Jesus isn't that he was born of the virgin Mary. The biggest miracle is that despite the ridicule and pain it would bring Mary in a society that would look down on her for being pregnant before marriage, she says yes anyway, declaring that, "I am the Lord's servant."
You've got to wonder if what Jesus told the leper was all in jest because the leper couldn't keep his mouth shut. He couldn't help but go and tell everyone what Jesus had done for him. It's as if Jesus infected the leper with something way more contagious than leprosy. Jesus had infected him with hope that leads to love.
A new wilderness prophet has arrived speaking on behalf of God but he knows he's unworthy to even take off the sandals of Jesus. And he's just the start of a long line of people who are unworthy to follow Jesus but Jesus extends an invitation to walk with him anyway.
Nearby, some shepherds were tending to their flocks. And while Caesar Augustus made his royal court in Rome, God had decided to make his royal court the fields where these shepherds lay. Caesar Augustus may have proclaimed a census from Rome but God would make his proclamation that the Messiah had entered the world by sending his messenger angels to the least likely and the oft forgotten.
You could hear the whispers and the not so much whispers. People had a lot to say about who they thought Jesus was. Gossip and philosophies and people trying to figure out this man were everywhere to be found at this point in Jesus' life.
The Mary's decided to stare death in the face instead of running from it. They did what 11 other men hadn't already (one man short of 12, a painful reminder of what had happened).
Jesus really had chosen to get way but the crowds had followed him and now it was beginning to get late. The disciples knew there wouldn’t be any food to take care of the people.
And for Jesus, even though he has power to turn stones into bread, and even though the angels could save him from death, he knows that who he really is, his real power, his identity, it comes from the Father above.