by Joe Alain

The Wonder of Christmas
Joe Alain
Luke 2:18

"And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds" (Luke 2:18). It was the lowly shepherds out in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night that first beheld the wonder of the incarnation. Far from the crowds and earthly palaces the prophecy of Isaiah was coming to pass: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

The shepherds were both amazed by the events that were taking place and they were comforted by the angel of the Lord. The comfort and encouragement came in the form of an announcement of "good tidings" as Luke tells us in 2:9-11: "And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

After the shepherds visited Jesus in Bethlehem they were moved with joy to tell the things which they had seen and heard. The gospel writer, Luke, again tells us that "All those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds" (Luke 2:18).

The observance of no other event in history bestows such a spirit of generosity, joy and love, and pure wonder as the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The wonder and amazement was clearly evident in the events that surrounded Jesus' birth. Here are a few instances where this amazement, joy or wonder was expressed: (1) Zacharias when told he would have a son, John the Baptist -- Luke 1:14; 21; (2) the naming of John the Baptist -- Luke 1:63; (3) the presentation of Jesus at the temple -- Luke 2:33; (4) the shepherds tell what they have see ...

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