Children and Shepherds

“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” . . . And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

(Luke 2:11–14, NASB)

Growing up in an Italian immigrant home as the youngest of thirteen children, with ten of my siblings girls, every Christmas was a major event and set a milestone of greater festivity than the last one. Our parents each found a personal relationship with Christ before the arrival of all of their children, so we learned early of the importance and celebrative joy of the story of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and each year reveled in its profound yet simple message.

At my mother’s knee I learned that because of Christmas I could pray with all the confidence a little child could have, “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon this little child…”* believing that the babe in Bethlehem, God in the flesh, would have regard for me as though I were the only child who ever spoke those words.

How much the same the shepherds on that Bethlehem night must have felt when the heavenly chorus rang out the good news, “For today in the City of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Not first to kings and queens, rather first to lowly shepherds with the most profound message of the ages, “born for you…”

We love the trappings and trim of the Christmas festivities and each in its own way signals the joy of the season. For our family, Christmas was centered on the family and on the creation of wonderfully festive meals, but always with the simple story of a present Savior who condescended on that first Christmas day to have personal regard for the smallest and the lowliest.