Over 2000 Years Ago
Trent and Liz Sutton spoke in church today. Both gave excellent talks. Sister Sutton’s talk caused me to go back and reflect on what it must have been like on that first Christmas night over 2000 years ago.
I imagined being an observer based on what I know…
That First Christmas
It was the lambing season, and so shepherds were busy on the plains of Judea west of Jerusalem. Being early spring, the night chill had them clustered together for warmth.
Not far, in a town in the District of the City of David, a young couple settled for lodging in a manger. She was about to deliver the Son of God. Her and her espoused husband, Joseph, had been visited by an angel who prophesied the birth of this child.
As she went in to labor, the night grew dark. Darker than ever. The shepherds watching the flocks strained their eyes to keep watch over their flocks. This heightened their senses and made them anxiously watch for predators among their sheep.
Lighting the World
As Mary bore down and pushed, the baby’s head crowned. The baby emerged and the darkness veiling the earth broke as a new star appeared in the heavens, exactly over the little grotto wherein the manger sat. Light not only filled the heavenly sky, but also that dark covering was filled with the Light of the World.
About the time the shepherds saw the star angels appeared before them. Because they went from this deep dark sky to seeing these bright beings descend from above, their already heightened vigilance caused them to fear what was happening.
“Fear not!” said the angel, “for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Then, something that has never happened before or since occurred. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
The shepherds, all witnessing what just happened discussed among themselves what they should do. Without haste, the shepherds began their journey towards Bethlehem. There they found Mary, Joseph and the newborn King. Because their hearts were filled with joy, finding the Promised Messiah, they went off telling others and inviting them to come and see over 2000 years ago.
A Savior is Born
A Type for Us
This is a type for us. The darkness that night was a lack of light. That darkness was broken at the birth of the Savior with a light from a new star and heavenly beings.
The world today is full of darkness – a lack of spiritual light. That darkness will be broken when the Savior returns.
We fed the missionaries tonight. I made a chicken in blush sauce, spinach and brownies for dessert.
We learned Sister Packard is going home this week. As a result, she will not be here for our Christmas breakfast. We’ll miss her. She’s been a cheerful influence.