No Ordinary Night
It was just another night, until the first pangs of labor struck. With all the usual efforts and pains that accompany birth, a child is born. But this is not just another child. No, this is a child who was prophesied about, who was eagerly anticipated, not merely by his family, but by a nation and by the world. This child would revolutionize how man perceives God and how God relates to man. This child was the "anointed one", the "Prince of Peace" and "Immanuel: God with Us." Yes, this was an extraordinary child.
It was just another night as nearby shepherds tended their flocks. The faint bleating of sheep is the only sound that disturbs the cool night air. Weather-worn men, weary from a day's work, prepare to bed down for the night when the sky explodes. A cacophony of music dispels the quiet as the brightest of light chases darkness away. Men accustomed to dealing with dangers ranging from wild beasts to armed thieves now shake in absolute terror as an army of heavenly beings proclaim the birth of God's own Son. It's as if God is proclaiming that He is the God of everybody, from the pious, religion-minded priests down the social ladder to the blue-collar, work-every-single-day-of-the-week, shepherd. Yes, this was an extraordinary proclamation.
It was just another night, until God stepped into flesh. He traded a throne for a bed of hay; the songs of angels for the bleating of cattle; the streets of gold for the dirt-packed streets of the first-century. now instead of robes of white linen, he was wrapped in the rough homespun of swaddling cloths. Instead of the riches of heaven, he saw the poverty of his earthly parents. Instead of assuming the all-powerful role as the creator and sustainer of the universe, he sacrifices everything to become as helpless as a newborn babe. Yes, this is an extraordinary God.
It was just another night, until Christmas came, then it was extraordinary.