Angels were giving out clues to local shepherds who were camping out in the desert under the Middle Eastern Skies. For days on end, shepherds would work and sleep outdoors, allowing the flock to graze on the steep slopes and spending the nights guarding the open sheepfolds. Desert nights can be pretty cold. They most likely had a fire burning while taking turns in their night watch when, all of a sudden, night turned into day. Angels from Heaven came with some exciting news: “The Messiah is born!” The shepherds were awestruck. “The Messiah is born? Here, in this neighborhood? Where would we find him?” This is where it gets interesting. And here goes: “You’ll find the baby sleeping in a feeding trough.” Then the angels were gone. Armed with a very good clue – baby sleeping in farm equipment is a good one – the shepherds went to meet Jesus.
From Mary’s and Joseph’s point of view, out of the blue there was a knock on the barn door. Resting after a long and treacherous journey, which was topped off by Mary going into labor, the couple must have been exhausted; but they were probably too excited to go to sleep right away. Gazing at their newborn in wonder, many questions must have raced through their minds.
And then, there they were: Shepherds who have listened to angel reports; Shepherds who could not have known that Mary just gave birth to an extraordinary baby; Shepherds who knew that they were laying eyes on the Son of God. Overwhelmed, everybody bowed their heads and prayed.
I believe God still speaks to us through signs and clues. We all can have our divine moments. However, we need to pay attention. God may have been speaking to us all along, but we’re too busy to notice. Although at times God can be very obvious (it’s hard to overlook a host of angels), I believe most of the time He is more subtle. And if we pick up on God’s language, we too have a story to share – one of the best stories in God’s point of view is our story how we met Him. As we continue to pick up on God’s way of communicating we’ll find that our story has just begun!