“And there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people: for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’” Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)
I can never read this passage of scripture without hearing Linus’ voice from the Charlie Brown Christmas special that I watched every year as a child. It was my absolute favorite part and still is. Even when making “Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas”, I wanted that passage recited in a child’s voice on the album and was so pleased with Mia’s sweet little rendition. To me, hearing the innocence of a child’s voice makes the story of Jesus’ birth seem even more magical. That night, the shepherds were the very first witnesses of the Christ Child, and by faith, they followed a simple star in the sky that guided them right to a newborn baby boy. Can you imagine what their conversation may have been as they traveled through the night?
“Did he say ‘babe’?” “What do you think the angel meant by ‘born’?” Yet, they kept going. And when they got to the stable on the outskirts of town, do you think they checked their GPS to make sure they had it right? “A barn? Are you kidding me?”
God’s people had heard prophecies for hundreds of years that they would be delivered from the tyranny that encapsulated them, that the Almighty would send them a Savior to save them from power-hungry, narcissistic and evil men who ruled over them generation after generation. But when that soft-skinned, helpless, totally dependent baby who was born in a dirty, stinky animal stable in the middle of the night to a young girl who dared to claim that she was a virgin—most people did not believe. How could this tiny human be the Savior of the World? It just can’t be. Sadly, so many people during Jesus’ time on earth chose not to believe. Even the very leaders who were anxiously awaiting this King’s arrival turned away from Him because they were expecting something much more grand, more powerful, more royal.
A friend of mine recently sent me an article she found on the internet that talked about how some public school children were recently denied the right to recite the above passage of scripture in their performance of the Charlie Brown Christmas play:
“A Kentucky public school decided to censor their ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ play after one parent complained that Linus’ monologue reciting Luke 2 was too religious and would be offensive. The students were instructed to remain silent during this part of the play. But on the night of the performance, as the student playing Linus stood on the stage quietly during his would-be monologue, the audience slowly began reciting the scripture verse together until the whole room was filled with applause and cheering as they finished with the words, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!’ And that’s what Christmas is all about.” (Family Research Council)
One voice. That’s all it took to take away the right that those children had to freedom of speech and also the right to freedom of religion. Wow, did our forefathers ever think this would happen? I’ve always been astonished at how many things they anticipated when they wrote our Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights, but they never anticipated how Christians would be intimidated to the degree that children would not be allowed to recite a scripture from the Good Book. However, God’s people came through once again by stomping out that intimidation and standing up for the rights that not only our given to us as Americans but also given to us by our Creator! Our Savior has been born! Hallelujah! Praise God for sending that sweet baby to save us from the evil one and from ourselves. Bow down to this Christ Child today and every day. He has come to give us eternal life! Praise God! Praise Jesus!
Are you intimidated by others who say that talking about Jesus and his birth is offensive? If you have been in the past, push it away and try it. Try speaking Jesus’ name among your co-workers, among your friends, among your family. This is the perfect week to do it.
Be One Voice for the good.
Have a blessed week of fun and celebration. Happy birthday, Jesus!