I remember when I first realized Luke’s story of Christmas didn’t really say the angels sang. It sort of shocked me, in the same way when I discovered there was no mention of how many kings came to see Jesus in spite of the years I had sung “We Three Kings of Orient Are.”
Sometimes it’s easier to let other people tell us what God says than searching His Word for ourselves. That’s sad because He wants to speak personally to us.
The shepherds in the field on the night of Jesus’ birth were in the right place at the right time to get a personal message from the Almighty. Caring for lambs most likely headed for temple sacrifice, they were hoping for a quiet night, a few hours of sleep until their shift came to watch.
Instead they got the surprise of their lives. A heavenly being breaks into their routine existence proclaiming the most astounding news. Good news! News of a Savior, Christ the Lord. Using a manger for a bed. What a night for this bunch who were not in the upper courts of priests and kings. They were simple folk simply doing their job.
Just as suddenly another group of heavenly beings appeared. But these were not as often pictured on our Christmas cards or in our pageants. These were not a sweetly singing celestial choir but rather an army of the troops of heaven. A heavenly knighthood. They were prepared to do battle. Their mission was not to sing sweet music but to war as needed.
For we are reminded that the battle has been raging since before time on earth began. War in the heavens. Lucifer and his minions using all their efforts to thwart the plan of redemption, ready to devour the Child, this One who would one day rule the nations with a rod of iron. The sweet little baby in a manger was the greatest of threats to the kingdom of darkness. They would do anything to keep God’s plan from being completed.
But I think they were suddenly surprised, just like the shepherds in the field. Surprised by the Lord’s host, those who were ready and willing to serve because their Captain lay as helpless babe in a feeding trough in a dingy cave.
Through the earthly life of Jesus we see angels intervening, bringing messages, coming to strengthen and help, doing God’s bidding. Until at last, at the last breath the God-man cried, “It is finished.” And satan is defeated!
There will continue to be conflict in our world, good against evil. I see it on the nightly news and it’s everywhere. Sometimes it seems like good is being overcome.
As children of the most high God we will be in the thick of it, called to be courageous, to fight the good fight of faith, to stand and when we have done all, to still stand.
Sometimes I feel like a wounded warrior, just wanting to lay in the dust of defeat and lick my wounds. But I dare not. The enemy knows his time is short and he is pulling out all his hellish arsenals.
Take heart, child of God. The battle is not ours but the Lord’s. We are not in this alone. The Captain of the Lord’s host, Jesus Christ himself, has come to take over. And. He. Is. Victorious!
And when it is all said and done, we who are on the side of the Lord, we win.
Friends, this isn’t a Christmas carol today, but a victory chant. Enjoy!