Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas Revelation: "This Will Be A Sign To You..."

Yesterday, I was reflecting on Luke 2 for the whole of the past week.

And oh! even though I hadn't received anything fresh, even though I had been poring and pondering over Luke 2 for a whole WEEK... on Christmas Day itself, when I read through the passage aloud, suddenly, I received a very fresh and relevant (and applicable) insight into Luke 2. :)

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night." (NKJV)

Somehow something clicked when I read the connecting word "Now..." in the passage. I saw how there was a divine purpose in Joseph and Mary having to bunker down in a decidedly unsanitary manger due to no room in the inn.

Because of all the inconveniences that happened to J & M, the shepherds were able to identify very clearly who the baby Messiah was. I mean, they didn't have mobile phones back then, so finding a baby in a city would be a rather tricky proposition, especially since rural shepherds weren't the most welcome of people in an urban city.

Which helped me figure out why the angel gave the shepherds such an unusual sign: "a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And I realised the purpose of our Christmas celebrations every year is very simple: to point people to the Messiah, so that they can rejoice with the angels every year that the Saviour of the world has been born to us.

"And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. [...] 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."

I also learnt from the passage that sometimes we go through so many difficulties and inconveniences and troubles... but perhaps PRECISELY because of all our tough times, it makes it so much easier for people to see God more clearly. That our darkest moments could, in the hands of God, serve as shining beacons for others to find the baby of Bethlehem more readily. How? I don't know. But God can use our darkest moments to become a guiding light for others to see and seek Jesus more clearly - through His life in us.

The darker our darkest moments be, the more clearly the light of Jesus people can then see.

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