We have work to do. We have an obligation we did not opt into but one we need to live up to. We need to work and we need to do so within the confines of a calling which is pronounced over our heads and a calling for which our new hearts beat. Although this obligation, this responsibility, this calling is not one for which we applied or volunteered, it is the best most noble cause this universe has ever seen. We join forces with giants most glorious and terrible, millennia in years of age, in order to help prepare the way for the antidote which will heal the whole world - man, beast, and the ground they come from. This is the best job anyone could ever want and this is the purpose you and I have been prepared for.
Welcome to the winning team.
You know that a little over two thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth was born. Before that time, all men were grouped into two categories: those who tried to grope and hitch their way into a higher plane of righteousness (or at least tried to do so) and those who believed ancient wisdom which made the assertion that only God could rid the world of the curse pronounced over it after our first parents Adam and Eve sinned for the first time thousands of years prior.
For a few seconds, imagine a world which was beautiful and largely untouched, but simultaneously shrouded in spiritual darkness. For a long time, a particular sliver of the earth’s population patiently waited for that darkness to be lifted - living, working, passing on, living, working, and passing on, generation in, generation out, each one hoping that what they saw and felt was not all there was to life - each one hoping one day the cycle would be broken, work and death would be abolished and God would once again walk with man.
So many waited, living out their ordinary lives, eventually passing on, their faith in God’s yet unfulfilled promise being the currency which bought their ticket into paradise.
What happened next was recorded this way:
And in (a certain) region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 1
This is what we celebrate.
The focus of this story Luke is telling us is the reason we know that we can celebrate. The ice is finally thawing. God finally delivered on His promise which means He really does care about us. He loves us so much that he bothered to deliver on the promise He made to little two legged creatures on a small planet in a certain corner of the universe.
There is now a proven path to Paradise. There is now hope beyond the grave. We can see our family members again, we can see our friends again, our bodies will be restored and we will finally enjoy a privilege only a select few had the opportunity of enjoying, walking with God once again.
At the outset, I mentioned that we have an obligation. This obligation is to relay this happy message to as many as we can deliver it. Our work is to live extraordinary lives that transcend the conventional ethics of the world - what we hear and see in the movies, the television, or on the internet. This privilege we enjoy is the chance to participate in the total redemption of the entire world.
We have work to do, but fortunately we are on the winning team, therefore we can celebrate.