I awoke to breaking news this morning that the Duchess of Cambridge is officially in the early stages of labor. My first thought was not “why is this news?”. I know very well why this is news. The Duchess is married to the very well known Prince William. The son of the late and much loved Princess Diana. Her soon to be born baby will be apart of the royal family. The child will be third in line to the British throne. This is big news.
I know it’s only July, but my mind is already wandering to December. The breaking news this morning triggered for me thoughts of the announcement of the Messiah. The angels sitting near their sheep were amongst the first to hear the breaking news of their promised King. If Jesus had been born today…would there be such public fanfare? I doubt it. Jesus came humbly and his announcement was to a very few selected individuals. He was born in a very unlikely place and amongst unlikely people.
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” – Luke 2:8-14 (ESV)
This is way better than waking up to a news alert on my iPhone. Could you even begin to imagine this scene? Israel had been waiting for a very long time to have this promise come to fulfillment. The arrival of any new baby brings joy. However, the shepherds were told that this was “good news of great joy”! This baby was to be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. God promised Abraham that…
“and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:18 (ESV)
What did the shepherds do with this news? Did they keep it to themselves? No! They went and obeyed the message given to them from God. They went and spread the message that the King had arrived. I remember my excitement when all three of my children were born! I made many phone calls to family & friends! I remember sharing the news with some and getting choked up with tears of joy! God’s promise to David was also being fulfilled that his throne would last forever! Bethlehem that night did not welcome a new member of the royal family….but the King who is Eternal. Some may pass this story off as our world’s sensationalism with the rich and famous. That may be true. I’m not going to look at it that way. I’m going to pause and think of a greater birth announcement that brings “great joy”. Don’t let this opportunity pass by forgetting to celebrate a greater birth announcement!