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Beliefnet is pleased to present the first 7 days of devotionals from Max Lucado’s “3:16: The Numbers of Hope” (Thomas Nelson, 2007). This is Day 1 of the week-long devotional.
DAY 1: AN EXTRA-ORDINARY NIGHT
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host
appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace to men on whom his favor rests.'”
–Luke 2:13-14
There is one word that describes the night he came–ordinary.
The sky was ordinary. An occasional gust stirred the leaves and chilled the air. The stars were diamonds sparkling on black velvet.
The sheep were ordinary. Some fat. Some scrawny. Common animals. No history makers. No blue-ribbon winners.
And the shepherds. Peasants they were. Probably wearing all the clothes they owned. Smelling like sheep and looking just as woolly.
An ordinary night with ordinary sheep and ordinary shepherds. And were it not for a God who loves to hook an “extra” on the front of the ordinary, the night would have gone unnoticed. The sheep would have been forgotten, and the shepherds would have slept the night away.
But God dances amidst the common. And that night he did a waltz.
The black sky exploded with brightness. Trees that had been shadows jumped into clarity. Sheep that had been silent became a chorus of curiosity. One minute the shepherd was dead asleep; the next he was rubbing his eyes and staring into the face of an alien.
The night was ordinary no more.
The announcement went first to the shepherds. Had the angel gone to the theologians, they would have first consulted their commentaries. Had he gone to the elite, they would have looked around to see if anyone was watching.
So he went to the shepherds. Men who didn’t know enough to tell God that angels don’t sing to sheep and that messiahs aren’t found wrapped in rags and sleeping in a feed trough.
–Max Lucado
From 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, by Max Lucado (2007). Used with permission of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc.

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