Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Christmas Week

One week until Christmas. This morning I’m going to stop worrying about gifts and trees and other temporary things for a little while and consider the Reason for the Season. Jesus.

I have Luke 2:11-12 on a sticky note, which keeps it at the top of my blogs until I take it down. (It’s there because #4 and I are memorizing it for our final SSMT of the year.)

Yesterday I heard a man talking about how the shepherds, who were first to hear the Good News, and when they did, they RAN  to find Him.

I don’t know what else the man had to say because my mind took off. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I couldn’t keep from thinking about it in the angels’ point of view.

Imagine, being in Heaven when the announcement was ready to be made. Today, God has become a man!!! He is Christ, the Saviour. Were the angels all excited? Did they all want to get to announce the news?

Can’t you see them, all standing on tiptoe, hoping Yahweh will choose them to give the announcement that Christ, the Saviour, has been born?

Finally, one gets the job, and gives the word to the shepherds.

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

But the rest of the angels can’t stand it. They have to sing out their joy.

Glory to God in the highest! And on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

Next my  brain switches to the Shepherds’ POV. (Point of View)

There they are with the sheep all bedded down for the night. They’re chatting as they do every evening before the graveyard shift starts. Some are getting ready to sleep while the rest are getting ready to stroll around the perimeter or sing to the sheep.

Out of nowhere, a being appears who is unmistakably an angel. The shepherds don’t question that it was an angel.

 The glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified!

When they see the angel, I imagine they all froze.

“Behold!” (NIV says, Be not afraid, but I like, BEHOLD!!!)

Don’t you imagine all the shepherd’s crooks hit the ground?

“I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be for all people.”

When the angel who brought the news finishes the announcement, as if to prove to the shepherd they hadn’t imagined the single angel, a whole flock of angels appear.

“Glory to God in the highest! And on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels were gone and the sky was black again, the shepherds ran to find the Christ Child.

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

Okay, maybe that’s why God decided to tell the shepherds first, because He knew they would spread the word.

Now can you put yourself in Mary’s place? She’s a young girl, a virgin, who has traveled far from her home with the man she’s going to marry. I think I read someplace that it took them about a week to travel to Bethlehem.

The last week before my first child was born, Mom made me stop driving a few blocks to work at Four Seasons, our dress shop. (I think she was afraid I’d slip and fall in the snow and have him on Broadway.)

Mary either walked or rode a donkey for most of that week as she traveled to Bethlehem.

The night before my first son was born, I wasn’t comfortable any place–walking, sitting or lying down. I went to a basket ball game, but couldn’t stay too long because #1 son’s feet were in my ribs.

Try to imagine the exhausted girl, Mary, and Joseph as they tried to find a place for her to rest. When the pains started, had they found the stable? Or did the man who owned the inn see that she was in labor and send them to the barn after he heard her cries?

Was Mary frightened as she had God’s son? I doubt that He took away the pain of childbirth. When her body worked to expel Christ, Creator of the Universe, and the only person with her was a man who’d never been married or delivered a child while a barn full of animals looked on, was she surprised or taken aback?

I was when my body took over, even though I’d read the books and gone through the classes.

19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Ready for True Christmas? I am. I want to celebrate The Reason for The Season all year ’round.

How about you?

Wishing you and your family a wonderful faith filled Christmas.