2nd Day of Christmastide, 26 December 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide


“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  (Luke 2:8-15; all scripture quoted is from the Authorized King James Bible)


This is not a hymn devotion today but rather an observation of the profound invitation extended to the poor shepherds on the hills overlooking Bethlehem. The invitation was a particular revelation to those men and not a general one. The spectacular vision of the Angelic Host filling the heavens would have been seen by many for miles around had that been the intention, but there is no mention of any others seeing that wonderful sight.

Likewise, the appearance of the Star that led the Wise Men went unnoticed by others, else it had no meaning to them. Perhaps others, such as the Korean accounts of such a heavenly wonder, were aware of the star but lacked the Holy desire to learn of its meaning. It is one thing to know the Word, but another to live it.

God has counseled us not to cast our pearls before swine, and neither does He share His Holy mysterious with the callous or uncaring. Royal men were not informed of the birth of the Christ Child. The religious leaders of Judea were not informed. It was the poor but trusting shepherds of Israel who shared the blessings of the appearance of the Heavenly Angel as herald of His birth. And it was the priests (Magi) of a distant land, too, that shared in that blessing of revelation.

In the first case of the shepherds, they were men of simple hearts and longings. Mammon had not overshadowed their hearts to loveliness. They literally loved their sheep whom they called by name and would have risked their lives in defending. Neither were they blinded by the false pride of the social or political class. Their hearts were simple enough to receive the beautiful mystery that was unfolded before them. They immediately went to see the thing “which the Lord hath made known unto us.”  (Luke 2:15) These were all Jews, but not steeped in the legalism and manmade religion of the Scribes and Pharisees.

Christ came to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. And thus, came the Magi from afar. These were called as representing the opening of the Gospel to the Gentile nations. Their hearts had been prepared by a Holy Desire to know of this King of which the Hebrew prophets had written. They had little knowledge of Him otherwise, but they did keep vigil for the prophesied Star which would reveal His Coming! A small measure of faith is the seed of a greater tree.

The mystery of Godliness works in the hearts of all who are drawn to Christ. Many who have studied His Word and cherish that radiant Light of the World, which Christ is, follow that Light as revealed to them through much diligent study and understanding. Others are drawn out of the darkness of the shadowed hill country by some amazing process of which the heart of man can little fathom or explain. But both the scholarly Magi and the poor illiterate shepherds were drawn by the same compelling Spirit that draws all of faith to the new birth in Christ. In fact, all of the elect experience that new birth at Bethlehem. Without the First Begotten of God, there would be no others of the new birth, for Christ is the firstborn of all of faith: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” (Colossians 1:15)

We of faith are all drawn by an unseen mystery to Christ and His Throne of Grace. We search for the Light, and follow the gentle prodding’s of the Holy Ghost out of our deadness in trespasses and sin into the glorious Light of His Presence (seen only by those whose hearts have been privileged to see that Light.) “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12

Surely, those who seek shall find the Light out of a profound curiosity aroused by the Holy Ghost. If we can assume the simple trust and faith of a little child, absent the false pride and temptings of the world, we are certainly accounted worthy to come to Bethlehem to see that New Born Savior that is the earnest of God’s love for us. Let us go, as did the shepherds, with haste to find Christ who is the Savior of our souls and the grantor of eternal life. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”   (John 6:39)




By |2023-12-27T20:11:35+00:00December 27th, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

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