No fanfare

“And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” — Luke 2:12

If you’ve ever been to a popular tourist destination you’ve surely seen the plethora of banners, billboards, and flashing signs that announce that the best of something or another can only be found in this or that shop or restaurant.

“Best deal in town!” “Biggest portions for your hungry family!” “Greatest selection of souvenirs!”

You’ve also probably discovered the best of anything is usually not found in any of those places. It’s the unassuming shop just off the main strip, or that little eatery the locals want to keep a secret, that offer the most promise.

One might think that with the arrival of something so great as the Messiah, there would have been a bigger, flashier sign. News that big calls for more fanfare and flashing lights.

Instead, the angels appeared out in the country to a humble group of shepherds to announce the Savior’s birth. And then, they told them the “big sign” would be… a baby wrapped in cloth and sleeping in a feeding trough.

That’s not exactly the red-carpet treatment. But Jesus wasn’t going to be that kind of king either!

God so often chooses the unassuming, the unlikely, to accomplish His purposes. And by heralding the birth of Christ in this way, God was signaling something very important – this would be a king marked by humility, one who would be a servant.

May we learn from the Christmas story to do great things with great humility.

Prayer Challenge

Ask God to give you humility and the heart of a servant this Christmas season.

Questions for thought

Is there a difference between calling attention to yourself and appreciating recognition for things you do well?

Why do you think God chose to announce the birth of Christ in this way to the shepherds?