THE EVENT THAT SENT HEAVEN SINGING
What event is this that causes all earth to celebrate? It’s an epic event! It’s the epic event, not of a century, or of a millennium…but of all history! It’s the event that sent Heaven singing!
What child is this, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? I wonder. This child is like no other. No other baby was ever born of a virgin. Who ever heard of such a thing? This is no other ordinary baby. This question, “What child is this?”…demands an answer…it demands your answer.
I have no doubt in my heart that each of you would respond, “He is the Christ, the Son of God.” It’s because you embrace Him in your heart that you have been invited here. This invitation wasn’t so that you could grace our home…but that you would be gathered to worship Him! As I pondered over all the Bible passages of the Christmas story, the thing that stands out in my mind this year is WORSHIP. Every character of the story was summoned to come worship the baby that was born the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You, too, have been summoned by Gloria & my invitation to worship Him also!
It was a night like no other night…not in all creation was there a night like this holy night. But this night the hustle and bustle was so intense that the innkeeper dismissed this young, pregnant couple to the only space available in town…a stall in the barn with some musty hay. Had he realized that this baby born King and Messiah was gracing their town, perhaps he would have called the Mayor or offered his own bed. But the town was overcrowded...unprepared for an event of this magnitude…a mandated registration for a tax under Roman occupation. Business couldn’t be better, but the overcrowding caused him to overlook the guest that deserved the red carpet treatment above all others.
No other child in all the earth destined to be a king would come from such humble beginnings. That first night when the Christ-child’s first cry pierced the cold night air, no dignitaries or ambassadors waited outside His door. But he shared the same hay in a manger with lowing cattle and bleating sheep. Perhaps these representatives of creation He breathed life into recognize their Creator’s voice, and they came to worship Him. If they could talk, perhaps they would say: “No castle or mansion is fit for this Child…for humility quietly speaks from the heart of this soon-to-be King of Kings.”
It was a holy night like no other in the hills surrounding Bethlehem. Lowly shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night were suddenly awakened by a brilliant choir of angels announcing the Savior’s birth. His arrival sent Heaven singing. Had He been born in a palace, those keepers of gentle animals would have been excluded from welcoming the Child King. But because of His humble birthplace, they felt totally at home. Few other events are worthy to make a shepherd abandon his flock. If we could ask them what child is this, perhaps they would say: “We came to worship this Child who is none other than the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”
The visits of royalty would soon come…but not from local governors and magistrates…but from wise men who traveled from afar to worship Him. What baby has ever been given the gift of gold that Kings receive? Or the kernels of incense that priests receive? Or the spice of a rich man’s burial? Unaffected by the hustle and bustle, they noticed the special change in the stars and heeded the beckon to come worship a baby. If we asked them of this Child, perhaps they would say: “We came to worship the One who mapped the Universe so that we could find the very Creator of the stars.”
What child is this that would summon angels away from the throne…whose primary purpose is to worship Him who sits on the throne? With heaven’s sweet voices they heralded the news to all who would open their heart to Him. No one else in history had angels to sing to them, “Glory to God in the highest, and earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” I we could ask the angels of this Child, perhaps they would say: “This baby is our master…the Lord of Heaven. We have known Him for eternity.”
What child is this that causes young Joseph to have a vivid dream that his virgin wife-to-be would bear a son? What would cause him to not dismiss it as a bad dream? This dream…did it make him want to run away from the responsibility of giving Him his name? How do you father a child who is the Father of all mankind? Perhaps Joseph would answer our question: “This Child taught me more about love and acceptance than all creation…this Child is the Messiah who would save His people from their sins.”
Mary…what child is this that lies sleeping on your lap? Did you know that your baby existed before you…that this One you hold in your arms is the Great I Am? Mary, did you know that your baby, whom you bore through the water, would make you born again in the Spirit? Did you know that your baby that you delivered in pain, came to deliver you from your sin?...that He was born with hands destined for nails? What child is this? Perhaps Mary would say: “If you truly know my Son, then you know that His death has become more precious than His life…for He is Christ the Lord, the risen Savior.”
And you…what do you say? How has this child impacted you so many generations removed from His birth? Can you think of any whose name is more precious, even two millenniums later? Is there any child’s birth more renown? Has any other child given so many a new life, a new name, a new eternal home? There is none other! There is no one like the Christ Child! You responded to this gathering because you embrace Jesus in your heart. You came without a traveling star to guide you, nor angelic choruses that summon your worship…but only the tug on your heart of a baby’s voice that pierced even your darkest night.
This, this is Christ the King whom shepherds guard and angels sing. Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary. This night…is a holy night because we have come to bring the gift of our hearts in worship.