We were just ordinary men trying to make a living - out in the fields all night, guarding the flock, keeping watch. We had seen a lot of strange things, at night, out in the fields. We had our share of bear stories, wolf stories; we'd fought lions.
But we had never seen anything like this. Right in the middle of an ordinary night, right in the middle of an ordinary job, something broke through from a realm beyond our sight.
A choir of heavenly messengers filled our eyes. Unto you, they sang - unto you! Salvation comes, the king is born, God has fulfilled his promise. Go and see: go into the town and look for a baby, an ordinary baby, all wrapped up and ready for bed, but sleeping in a manger -- that's him.
That BABY is God incarnate: a baby lying in a manger, gently breathing, his folks standing by. This is the sign of God that everyone has been waiting for. This is the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Son of David, Christ Almighty -- don't you want to tell somebody about it?
We're no angels. We're just shepherds, working the night shift on a far hillside. The mother herself saw no angels tonight, only us -- bringing the message, confirming what she knew in her heart, that today, in the City of David, is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
How then on an ordinary day are you to recognize the Christ Child? How is he born in your life -- in your town?
You go about your business in your ordinary way -- and yet: something extraordinary is happening even now, in your heart, in your life, in your will. Christ is being born. God has sent his Redeemer to you, to establish the way of peace, to bring righteousness and peace to the world he has made, to the person he has made, to you.
Christmas, Christmas Eve, Luke 1:1-20, John 1:1-14 (15-18), Isaiah 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14,Isaiah 62:6-7, Psalm 96, Psalm 97, Psalm 98, Titus 3:4-7, Hebrews 1:1-4
Herbert O'Driscoll, The Word Today (Anglican Book Centre)
Fred B. Craddock et al., Preaching through the Christian Year (Trinity Press International)
St Alban's Episcopal Church