read: “Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.'” Luke 2:8-10
reflect: In case we don’t see it yet, look who hears first about Jesus’ birth. The angels go- not to Caesar- but to shepherds, the lowest people imaginable. The shepherds had dirty jobs nobody wanted. They had no power on earth.
But the angels of heaven come to them. And look what they proclaim! A Savior is born! For YOU. A new Caesar, a new Lord, a new Ruler to follow, for you!
Just as Rome tightened its screws, Jesus came to be the alternative king, the authentic ruler. He is overthrowing the Roman empire, and any empire that dares to claim lordship over all the earth.
We sing of this in the most sweet sounding lullaby imaginable. Unless you were really listening, no one could guess how subversive it really is:
“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lays down his sweet head. . .the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.”
Caesar’s decree went out: that all the world should be counted under his control. He wanted to show his power so he declared they should all come to him and pay their taxes.
God’s decree went out: that all the world should count, in God’s reign. God wanted to show God’s love so God came to us, to pay whatever loving us cost him.
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay is turning the world upside down, or from God’s perspective, right side up.
act (with children or on your own!): Sing “Away in a Manger”. Sing it softly, and then, think about what a bold song it is, and sing it at the top of your lungs!
pray: Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay, close by me forever and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in your tender care. Amen.