I took my usual seat in church last week, weary from a busy and burdened week, ready to hear something, anything, to encourage my heart and revive my exhausted spirit. This had been a particularly stressful week, a week when my sleep was deficient, and my own strength was depleted. What would God have for me in His Word today? But He would respond quickly to His tired child today, and as we rose to sing a familiar Christmas carol, the lyrics seemed to me as though God Himself had placed His loving hands upon His child’s shoulders and whispered gently in my ear:
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way, With painful steps and slow.
Look now: for glad and golden hours, Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road, And hear the angels sing.
Are you bending low beneath the crushing load of life? Are you toiling as you climb, your steps slow, even painful? Are you lonely, physically hampered, working your way through grief and depression? The lyricist beckons you to take a moment, rest along the road, and listen.
It was an ordinary night in Bethlehem, the hills dotted with shepherds “abiding in the field,” making a living by tending their flocks, unaware of the miraculous event taking place a short distance away. Suddenly the night skies were filled with a glorious light as “glory of the Lord shone round about them,” striking fear into the hearts of those common sheep herders. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” He is here, the promised One, the Messiah, the Good Shepherd, the One Who will be “wounded for your transgressions…bruised for your iniquities,” the One Who will be brought as a “lamb to the slaughter.” The angels brought those shepherds “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Sin’s curse would be conquered, for salvation had come to a manger in Bethlehem.
The heavenly host could not contain their praise at the wonder of the moment as their voices burst forth across the sky, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” As I close my eyes and picture in my imagination the spectacle taking place that evening, the angelic voices singing praise, the stunned shepherds making haste to see this miraculous Child, then sharing that experience with all who would listen, making known abroad “concerning the child,” I cannot help but rejoice, for He came on my account, born to die for my sin, my iniquities, my transgression. Then suddenly, as I hear those angels sing, that load of care upon my shoulder disappears as my soul is filled with wonder and praise, and I find rest beside the weary road.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Thank You, Lord, for the message of those angels long ago. Thank You for choosing to be born of a virgin, to walk our soil, to endure the cross, and to triumph over the grave. Thank You for the gift of Christmas.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1125-62b935302dd75' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1125&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1125-62b935302dd75' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1125-62b935302dd75' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>