And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:8-14 (ESV)
Hear ye! Hear ye! Have you heard the good news? Today in the city of David a Savior was born who is Christ the Lord!
Birth announcements do not usually cause visits from heaven nor bring an angel choir and a brand new star. Wise men from the east traveled many miles to pay homage to this new born King. Relatives might make a trip across the country to see a new born but to bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. I would think not.
The angels sang Joy to the world! They proclaimed good news to all men! He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace! What a birth announcement! What a proclamation!
My birth announcement amounted to a small space in the local newspaper. No fanfare or celestial beings in attendance to announce my arrival and certainly no bright new star shining overhead. No one came from afar to witness my birth nor were any kings or governors quaking at the thought of a new king being born. Other than a three day blizzard my arrival onto this planet was less than spectacular.
For most people, their entrance into the world is usually without much fanfare or production. I performed a Google search to see if I could find any famous person's birth announcements and found none. I guess the lack of those is due primarily to the fact that the birth of most infants is not considered extraordinary. To be famous one has to accomplish something in this life to be worthy of such acclaim. Merely being born would not require a royal announcement of heavenly proportions.
On this night angels were dispatched to Mary, Joseph and lowly shepherds, to proclaim the birthday of a King. The angels foretold of the greatness of this child. All of heaven was dispatched to make this special delivery. This was no ordinary birthday. This was no ordinary child. This was not just another birth.
Most parents struggle for days, weeks and months even to try to come up with a name for their precious newborn, but this child's name had already been picked before He was even conceived. The angel of God told Mary and Joseph His name shall be called Jesus, for He shall save His children from sin. This was to fulfill what the prophets foretold.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
God had many names in scripture. Some of them were El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty), El Elyon (the most High God), El Olam (the Everlasting God), and Elohim simply God. Never before had God been known as Emmanuel. Until this time God was far removed from the affairs of man, making occasional visits through angelic visitations and speaking through the prophets of old. But on this day the good news was God was coming to earth to dwell with man.
The God of all creation was made flesh and dwelt with man. He came unto His own but His own received Him not.
There were no preparations for this Kingly arrival. No dignitaries were gathered at His mother's bedside to honor His birth. There wasn't even a bed made ready for the King of Kings to be born. Instead the God of all creation came to earth and was laid in a feeding trough for cattle.
Israel had been overrun by the Roman government whose life style and manner of living was contrary to all the teachings of the law and prophets. They were living in a world without any concept of who God was or any desire to know Him. Theirs had become a secular society of humanistic teachings and beliefs. The Hebrew tongue had been replaced with Greek as the official language. Homage had to be paid to the government and heavy taxation was placed upon God's people. Central temple worship had been replaced by synagogues. For the most part the singular focus of ‘God worship’ had been misdirected into many factions and divisions. The singular worship of one true God was being supplanted by the worship of many gods of the Greeks and Romans. There was no El no Supreme ruler. There was no absolute law and order. Theirs was a godless society.
However in the tiny village of Bethlehem there was quite a celebration going on. God made sure that He announced His Son's arrival in grand fashion. Angels were assembled to hark the herald. They sang praises to this new born king. Joy to the world the Lord has come! They were pronouncing an end to hostility between God and man. They were proclaiming that God had come to earth to reconcile man. Immanuel, God with us, is the true hope of glory. God in man! In Man U are El.
The aim and goal of God is to reconcile man to Himself. He desires above all else to have fellowship with man. Times of trials and testing are sure to come to winnow away all that interferes with our ability to fully praise and worship God. God had to step out of heaven and come to earth in order that earth could be taken back to God. He had to make the journey so that we too could find rest for our souls.
Truly a world with No El is a world lost and forlorn but a world with El is fully alive and most joyous. Joy to the world the El has come! Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room. Let no one say there is No El in the land. For surely the Lord has come. O come let us adore Him!
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