“I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people,” proclaimed the angel.
God’s promised return was happening, but in a way that no one expected. God was not returning as a conquering hero, a glorious cloud-surfing warrior coming back to destroy Israel’s enemies.
No, the “sign” given to these shepherds was a leaky, burpy, dirt poor little baby, born in a barn in a nowhere town called Bethlehem.
And yet, this is why the whole world was ringing — a glimpse of heaven and earth coming together, as God had intended from the beginning. God was coming to dwell with his people to redeem and save them. The long-awaited Messiah, the true king, was the Lord himself, wrapped in the swaddling clothes of a tiny baby, fully human and fully divine.