And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:8-12)Angles we have heard on High is a well know and favorite carol we hear each year at Christmas. It is a Traditional French carol (Les Anges dans Nos Campagnes). It was translated from French to English by James Chadwick and published in 1862 in the Crown of Jesus.
Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ, whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.
Christmas is about everything new. New life, new beginnings, new order, new power, and a brand new and very unique Kingdom.
This new Kingdom would be just as unique and radical as they and everyone who came in contact with Jesus discovered him to be. A kingdom that was completely different, completely unique, and could not be seen in the same way as earthly kingdoms could be seen.
This new Kingdom would have a different kind of power, different priorities, and a different purpose.
It would not be ruled by riches and violence, but by love and grace. It would not begin with an army taking over a large population of people. It would begin with a humble King laying down his own life for all people everywhere.
It would start with a few unimportant people who believe in this radically unique King. It would not grow by a large takeover or great force, but one person at a time freely accepting the King and his ways.
It would be nothing like the kingdoms man established. It would be a vast kingdom without end, set apart from the kingdoms of this world, with a beginning in a smelly stable in a small unimportant town.
It would begin as a baby.
Christmas is a celebration of the NEW. A celebration rooted in necessity, paid for on the Cross, realized through the resurrection, and rippling through the world in lived out lives. Yes Jesus is the reason for the season. Jesus is the very reason we can celebrate new life at Christmas, at Easter, and every day of our lives.