The Sign

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Joshua 16-18; Luke 2:1-24

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Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

15 When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child.18 Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them.19 Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. 20 The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told (Luke 2:8-20, Common English Bible).

 

Several years ago, as I was preparing my Christmas Eve message and studying Luke 2 I ran across something I found to be an interesting observation though I had never thought about it myself. I can’t remember if it was a web page, in a book, or perhaps a sermon I read. In trying to find it, I found someone named Rod Parsley seems to get credit for it. The observation? “A sign points to something beyond itself.”

We have several signs around our church property. These signs tell the name of the church, our phone number, our worship time, they even give the address. Given that to see the sign you are at the address… The signs don’t proclaim, “Look at how pretty I am.” The sign is giving you information about the church.

If you are driving down the highway and you see a speed limit sign. The sign is pointing you to the maximum speed you should drive, even though most of us use it as more of a suggestion than an actual guideline. Or, if you see a yellow highway sign with a black curved arrow, it’s entire purpose for existence is to warn you of a curve in the road.

For the shepherds, when Jesus was born, the sign, according to the angels was they would “…find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” So what was this sign pointing to? The angels said the Good News, “Your Savior is born for you today…”

I love the idea of the sign pointing to something beyond itself. But, in this case, perhaps this is the exception to the rule. The sign, it would seem, points to itself, the baby in the manger points to the baby itself, the Savior of the world.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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