And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (LUK 2:10-12 ESV)
Reading this puts thoughts of Christmas on my mind. And we’re not that far away…
And yet, that same familiarity can keep us from seeing their significance. This Angel is reporting the birth of the long anticipated messiah (“Christ” is the same word in Greek). That alone is astonishing. But the next sentence helps us see the nature of the messiah. He is in a manger. This is not the expected birth place of kings. Already we see him breaking free of the Jewish expectation. Why a manger? Why, in the providence of God, would he not come in a palace? And the answer is found in the recipient of this Angel ‘s message. Shepherds would not have felt at home in a palace. But they would In a barn, and it is to the lowly that Jesus comes.
It begs the question, are you comfortable finding Jesus in a barn? Do you see your lowly estate?