Passage: Luke 2:8-20
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Come, Lord Jesus
How will our longings get fulfilled? Over these past few weeks we have been hearing testimonies expressing our longings for rest, deliverance, healing, and joy. And we want these longings to have a climactic Hollywood fulfillment where evil is dramatically destroyed by good. With Christmas our longings are fulfilled, and evil triumphs over good…but in surprising ways. How? Our longing for joy is fulfilled with “good news of great joy…for all people” (Luke 2:10), yet only humble shepherds hear it (Luke 2:1–8–10). Our longing for deliverance and rest is found in a Savior, Christ the Lord, yet he is found as a “baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” Promises of God from thousands of years ago have been fulfilled, yet these truths are pondered by a teenaged, unwed mother (Luke 2:15–20). The good news of Christmas is heard by humble shepherds, seen in a baby in a manger, and pondered by an unwed, teenage mother; may we also hear this good news in our humble situation, see the good news in our surprising situations, and ponder this good news no matter our situation.
First, the good news of Christmas is first heard by humble shepherds (Luke 2:8–10). Shepherds were practically “quarantined”; they were unclean because they were always with animals. They practiced social distancing, watching their flocks at night. Yet it was in this surprising place angels appeared, lighting up the night sky, and bringing “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (2:9). What a remarkable promise. Even more remarkably, this good news is first heard only by humble shepherds.
Also this good news of Christmas is seen in a baby in a manger (Luke 2:11–14). The coming of a king in the city of David would satisfy our longings for rest and deliverance. No wonder a multitude of the heavenly host join in song, declaring, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (2:14). This glorious and powerful declaration, though, is found in a humble place. The sign of the appearance of this king is humble, even humiliating— “a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (2:12). This is where we see the good news of Christ.
Finally this good news of Christ is pondered by an unwed, teenage mother (Luke 2:15–20). While the shepherds spread the news far and wide, Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart (2:19). God’s work in the world takes pondering, not just speaking. Sometimes we need to take time to ponder these things for these promises to penetrate our hearts.
So what? This is a Christmas like no other. We are not able to embrace and feast with family and friends like we want. We cannot embrace or enjoy the joy of Christmas like we like. But this Christmas may be more like the first Christmas than ever before. May we hear the good news of Christmas, even in our humble situation. May we see the beauty of Jesus in this surprising situation. And may we ponder the good news of Christmas and not rush to a conclusion.