13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on
whom his favor rests.”

 Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)
Now comes the big shebang that we sing about. Hark the shepherds  heard those angels sing. I’m sure the sky was glowing and it truly was a  glorious sight. It sounds like a great event, but it wasn’t the big event. It  was merely a celebration of the big event.

In celebration the angels sang, “Glory to God.” I am sure it was  a beautiful sight for the shepherds, and they enjoyed the celebration. I enjoy  Christmas celebrations throughout December. The food, fun, and fellowship are a  part of Christmas that I do not want to miss, but the busyness of these  celebrations can make us forget what we are celebrating. When the sky filled  with angels, the shepherds could have thought they had seen the most amazing  sight they would ever see. They could have missed what the angels were singing  about.

The true big event was a humble happening hidden in a stable. The birth of a baby in less than extravagant conditions is an event that could easily be overlooked.  It certainly isn’t as beautiful as angels filling the sky. Sometimes we miss the truly glorious moments because we are so focused on the glorious. We get excited about the big Christmas cantata
at church, but miss the young girl who sat in the back of the church giving her life to Jesus.

It is not that the celebrations are bad, but if we look at the celebrations as the big event, we miss the truly big event and we can forget what we are celebrating. The year my daughter died I was so sad that she was not here for all the Christmas celebrations. Then I realized that she was with the One we celebrate. Suddenly, I wished my celebration was as glorious as hers. As we attend celebrations with friends and family, we can have an enjoyable time  and still remember what Christmas is truly about.

The next reading is Luke 2:15-16.