BTTC Web JPEGMy neighbor rang the bell. I put the dogs away. She carried a box. With a smile she said, “They delivered this to my house but it belongs here.” Checking the address I said, “Ah, thanks.” “I wondered if they delivered mine here by mistake?” she said. Sure enough, I looked and the box that had just been left at our door belonged to her. I gave it to her. She thanked me. I thanked her. The dogs came upstairs and all was well with the world again.

I wonder if that might not be somewhat how the shepherds felt that night in Bethlehem. Not the whole mix up of the boxes thing, but the idea that something that does not belong to me might have been delivered to me by mistake.

This was not just another baby that had been born. It was “The Savior, who is Christ, the Lord” and they just heard the news. No way, Joseph! Had it been today, one of them would have dialed mom, who would have said, “Shepherd boy, you need to come home and get some sleep. You’re seeing things.” The girlfriend on Instagram would have responded, “Where’s the pic, loser?” The boss would have yelled, “Why don’t you just say you want to go home early tonight?”

Fact is nobody in their right mind would believe them. The shepherds themselves couldn’t possibly believe this was happening to them! Stuff like this only befalls the rich and powerful. They sit close to the movers and shakers. They control information. They spin the news. Raw broadcast like what they just got never happens and when it does it goes first to the royal chambers of kings and queens who sleep quietly in their bed of luxury. Or to dictators who never sleep, but never to shepherds who are always awake but for different reasons.

They story does not make sense. You have to wonder if the lead angel lost his way. Was his GPS inside an Apple phone? Couldn’t they tell by the smell that this was no palace? Didn’t the shepherds clothes give them away as being among the despised?

But contrary to all the logic, defying the speculation of the script writers who had co-opted the plot and re-imagined the narratives anticipating the Birth of the King of Kings, when the news of His coming came, it was indeed delivered first to the most disenfranchised, the lowest of the lowest in the totem pole. God could hardly have gone any lower. People of no fame were the first to hear of the most famous one. The shepherds were wrong. The package was delivered to the right address and this was no mere coincidence.

Thanks to that timely and well-placed delivery, salvation is for all and people like me can share in the hope that baby brings. Thanks to God’s snubbing of the powerful and well connected, people with only the clothes on their back can now be richly robed in His glory. Thanks to that defying act of grace, the poorest of the poor, both physically and morally, can now become beloved children of God. It’s the only way I can possibly get in. God bypassed the powerful in the Advent so He could make His pitch to the whole world in Redemption. The plot thickens.

And that’s what makes Christ’s arrival on earth the most outrageously exciting event and the coolest birth in the annals of baby’s births in all of history. I’m dancing and toasting to it.

“The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.” (Isaiah 9:2)

Joy to the world,

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade
Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA

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