“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)
No doubt there was more than one baby lying wrapped in strips of cloth on the night of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. For the poor of that day, who had nothing else to wrap a baby in, that was nothing unusual. But to put a baby in a manger was most unusual. And so, the sign was given to the shepherds. “You can go and hunt around Bethlehem, but you’re only going to find one baby—a poor little baby—wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. That is the One.”
Scripture has always insisted that God’s message be verifiable. You can check out what God says and find it to be true.
There are a lot of people who give an academic nod to the Christmas story. They would have absolutely no problem nodding their way through this statement, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Who wouldn’t nod in agreement to a communication of this nature? But how many of us would actually go search for the baby and dare to prove God true?
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. (Luke 2:15-16)
God has communicated Christmas to us so that we might verify it as true in our lives. He wants us to go, like the shepherds, and see if the Savior has really come. Has God actually visited you, where you live, in the middle of your ordinary life? Do you have the energy, curiosity, or the will to come to the manger yourself and see what you find?
At Christmas time God cups His hands over His mouth, as it were, and shouts at the top of His voice, so that with all the din going on around them, human beings might hear what He has to say: “Listen! I’ve got great news that will bring you glorious joy!”
Meditate on the doorway of heaven flying open with joyous, thunderous praises of angels ringing out. Try to comprehend the grand dimensions of their message. Listen carefully to what God is communicating. He has something important to say to all of us, in all places and at all times, and it’s a message worth listening to.