One of our favorite PBS programs each December is the Christmas concert of St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Last evening, as we were enjoying the program, the choirs broke into the joyous proclamation of the birth of our Savior with the Isaiah passage of Handel’s Messiah – For Unto Us a Child is Born - taken from Isaiah 9:6. It is a portion that I have heard hundreds of times and wonderfully captures the excitement and miracle of this holy event. This time, however, something strange occurred to me. The angels did not say, “Unto Mary and Joseph is born a child.” They proclaimed, “Unto you is born a Child.” They were addressing the shepherds! The birth of this Child was to have a personal impact on them. Indeed, this Child was born for everyone to claim. He was a Gift to the entire world, not just to Mary and Joseph. All of a sudden this becomes very personal. A Child is born for you. When someone gives you a tremendous gift, you have to make a decision as to what you will do with it. Put it in a place of honor and cherish it, ignore it, relegate it to storage or throw it away. Likewise, you must make a decision about this Child and what role He will have in your life, if any at all. Living your life as if He doesn’t exist is a choice in itself.
This is a good time of year to consider what you have done with this amazing Gift. You will never receive another as great.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.