“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.” Luke 2:17-18
“And his father and mother were amazed at the things being said about him.” Luke 2:33 (NASB95)
The morning star was bright in the sky as darkness slowly gave way to the soft colors of dawn. She was always amazed at the beauty of each new day, God’s gift to His people. This was her favorite time of the day, when only the birds broke the silence of slumber and every thought was full of endless possibilities. She loved the solitude of being the first woman at the well, the luxuriant stretching of her muscles as she filled her jugs with sweet water. These moments were precious to her and she guarded them jealously. This was the only time that was all her own, when she could let her mind run free before the demands of a large household asserted its frenzied claim on her.
Today, however, she woke not to the gentle coos of roosting doves but to excited voices in the street outside. Dressing hurriedly, she opened the door to discover a crowd forming in the narrow lane below her house. She noticed a group of shepherds in the center of the gathering accompanied by several sheep making their presence heard among the racket. Quickly she slipped out the door and joined the increasing throng of neighbors jostling around her. She couldn’t tell at first if the raised voices of the shepherds were angry, frightened, or simply animated, but as she drew closer, she heard snatches of their tale: “Angels, bright light . . . baby. . . manger in the cave. . . Christ the Lord. . . praising God . . .”
More people arrived and the shepherds repeated what they had been told by the angels and what they had seen with their own eyes. She wove her way through the crowd until she was right in front of the shepherds and could clearly hear what they were saying, as they continually interrupted each other with details so amazing she found it hard to believe. But the look joy on their faces as tears streamed from their eyes, and the reverence of their voices soon removed any doubt from her mind. She recalled the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14), and the words of the prophet Micah, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).
The crowd was murmuring now, astonishment and amazement filling each face. Could it be? The Messiah? Here? Now? Her heart raced as she began to grasp the truth of the shepherd’s words, and she was overcome with the same joy that infused their countenance. The Messiah had come! He was here! The prophecies fulfilled in her day! The Light of the World broke through the darkness, and she stood amazed as the truth of God’s wondrous gift spread love and peace through her entire body. The wonder of it all bubbled out of her in abandoned worship as she, too, began to spread the message. Immanuel, Christ the Lord, was born today in the City of Bethlehem! Never was there such a morning as this!
Christmas came, and all who heard of the Christ child’s arrival were amazed. Later Mary and Joseph were amazed when they presented Him to the LORD and heard Simeon pronounce praise upon Him. With each encounter throughout His 33 years on this earth, people were amazed at His authority, His power, His miracles, His teachings, and His words. His birth to a virgin in a cave in Bethlehem, announced to shepherds by a great company of angels, was amazing. The star in the heavens pointing the way to the Christ child was amazing. His death as the pure, spotless Lamb of God, to atone for the sins of all mankind was amazing. His resurrection from the dead on the third day was amazing. His appearance after the resurrection and before His ascension was amazing.
His love is amazing. His grace is amazing. And today people are still amazed when they encounter Jesus Christ. For some, it is the amazement of belief. For others, their amazement turns to scoffing. But the truth of Christmas remains. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord,” He is Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He has come to seek and save the lost. He is sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and He will return soon to take His children to be with Him forever.
So, I bow in amazement this Christmas, worshipping Christ the King, and like the shepherds, I am anxious to tell others what I have seen and heard. It is Christmas because Messiah has come. And it is Amazing!
Will you take time to be amazed at the glorious gift of Christ this Christmas, and will your amazement drive you to worship and to share?©