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."If you don't celebrate Christmas, just go on doing whatever it is you do this time of year and come back after the New Year starts. The rest of us have some serious theological self-improvement to consider.
But here we are at the moment that the world was made for -- the moment when Christ the Lord would be born -- and angels appear to tell some shepherds that this is happening. And when they appear, they don't say, "This is pretty cool, huh? This is the sign for you, cowboys: a host of angels singing God's praises -- because you saw this sign, you can know that God is in it."
See: the angels were not the sign, were they? They were just the messengers. Seriously: they were just the guys with the telegram for the field hands who smelled like sheep. The sign, they said, was the baby in a feeding trough -- a baby in a manger. It wasn't a sign that ministers like a flame of fire had something to say: it was that there was a baby born in the city of David in a lowly place.
You see: at many times and in many ways, God spoke to the fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.
Think about that, and I'll be back next week to tell you what you should have thought.