10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:10-12 (NIV)
Today, I asked my 6 year old son what he thought of our scripture reading. He said, "They listened." He's right.   The shepherds listened to the message God sent through the angel. A message of happiness, a message of hope, and a message of humility.
The angels told the shepherds that this announcement would bring "great joy." This joy was not just for the shepherds. It was for "all people." Yet, the shepherds were the ones who listened. What joy might God be trying to share with us today?  Will we listen to His message of happiness?
The message brought hope. The Israelites had been waiting for the Messiah for generations. We know what great hope we have because of Jesus. How exciting it must been for people who had been waiting for so long for the hope that the Savior brought. So many of us get discouraged waiting for just a brief time for a promise from God. We need a message of hope to keep us going. If we listen, could we hear God's message of hope to us?
The sign for this great, hoped for Messiah was not  an elegant prince in a palace. It was a baby in a manger. We expect so much. We think so highly. Sometimes we need to lower ourselves to see the greatest blessings. Let's not overlook the blessing God has for us because it is not wrapped in the package we expected. Let's listen to this message of humility.
I am grateful for all of God's messages. I am grateful for messages of happiness and hope, but I am also grateful for messages of humility. Mostly, I am grateful that God cares enough about us to send us these messages.

Tomorrow's reading is Luke 2: