I love the way God uses simple reminders to fill our hearts with the truth of the Good News.
In my first year of teaching, after the December program, my third grade students decorated stars with their names to hang on our bulletin board and celebrate. One of the precious girls in the class (who is now one of my sixth graders!!) came to me with this picture she had drawn in her free time after coloring her star and asked,
"Ms. W...can you please tape my star to my picture?"
I hung her picture next to all the other stars and have kept it in the years since then. I love the simplicity and the joy of a child's heart. And I love that she wanted her star to go in the most important place...above the one who brings us joy and hope today as we celebrate the miracle of His birth...the Good News of Jesus!
"Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel of the Lord reassured them. 'Don't be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior - yes the Messiah, the Lord - has been born today in Bethlehem, the City of David. And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.'
Suddenly the angel was joined by a vast host of others - the armies of Heaven - praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and peace on Earth to those with whom God is pleased.'
When the angels had returned to Heaven, the shepherds turned to each other and said to each other, 'Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about!'
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them."
I pray your Christmas is blessed and joyful and that your heart, too, is blessed by the story of the birth of Jesus. I will never fully understand this miracle, or the love God showed for all of mankind the day He sent His son to Mary and Joseph. But I hold the truth in my heart, and I find hope in the Salvation I have received as a great gift...and now my challenge is to go and tell everyone as the shepherds did!