Night Watch

“Today your Savior is born . . .” (Luke 2:11, NET)

The gathered armies stood at attention, silent as the night. Waiting. Unseen. Their commander moved into position, listening for the signal. Breathless, they stood, poised to do their duty. Their king had gone on ahead of them.

Many men had tried to change the world. Through diplomacy. Through art, and war. The king’s enemy and his militias still occupied the land. The commander wondered, “What would it take to change the world? What army would be powerful enough to cast out the enemy forever?”

Surprisingly, the high king sent his son, his co-regent. He had been planning it for ages, announcing beforehand where and when his son would arrive. No surprise. No attack.

The mystery of his mission remained cloaked in the counsels of the high king and his son. The commander of the armies wondered about the answer, as he waited for the signal.

Then, a tremulous cry broke the stillness—the warriors tensed, strained to hear. The commander hesitated, stunned. Then he smiled, and stepped forward through the veil of darkness. He was beginning to understand.

There, cowering before him, their terrified faces glowing with the reflected glory of his light, were a few of the ones the king had come to save.

The commander smiled and spoke gently. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Listen carefully, for I bring you good news. Today, your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord.”

The darkling veil lifted like a great curtain, revealing the vast armies of heaven, praising God. Here is the mystery unknotted. The armies of men can never change the world. Nor can the armies of heaven. No, a baby can change the world.

If it’s the right baby.