May we have eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand that beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born within ourselves and in the world.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and 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 heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
“Good Tidings of Great Joy” comes from the angel’s words in the Gospel of Luke. The angels had come to the shepherds tending their flocks at night for them to know the Messiah had been born. They took over the entire horizon shouting praises to God and declaring Immanuel God with us. The multitude of heavenly hosts was so majestic that the sight of them was simultaneously glorious and frightening. And while they shouted down declaring Emmanuel God with us they did so to the lowliest of people, shepherds in the field.
And as much as the image of the greatest beings declaring anything to the lowliest of men would have shocked any of its early readers the message, they were declaring would have been even more shocking.
“This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” God incarnate could be found as a weak and needy infant. Lying not in a place of great prestige but in a dirty manger meant only for lowly animals to eat from.
The multitude of angels and their message remind us that Jesus is both great and small. He is the lion and the lamb. He is a king and a servant. He is the human and the divine. The message for us is the same. Christ is the great equalizer, and it is our job to live out and share His message with the world.
Today take time to pray. Pray for our world leaders and pray for those who unhoused. Pray for our corporations and prayer for our neighbors living on minimum wage. Pray for the people that you serve and those who serve you.