My assignment began as many others had in the past: make an announcement to the appropriate people at the appropriate time. While the recipients were simple, ordinary kinsman, this was no ordinary assignment, and this was no ordinary time. The enemy was near.
I never doubted the plan, but as I drew my sword and looked toward the Special One, I wondered, “Why him?”
I tenderly held him and nuzzled his nose. It was strange to see such form for the Creator of the Universe. How would the world understand this? Yet the plan was to go forth, and it was my responsibility to see that nothing stood in the way.
I enveloped my massive arms around the small baby and wielded my mighty sword.
“Not just yet,” were the words from the Father.
As I lowered my arm a bit, I watched the young couple slowly, cautiously travel across the miles. The emptiness of the journey seemed unfitting for my King. This young woman, to whom I appeared months earlier, carried a heaviness that echoed throughout the land. Oh, her need for release wailed as the couple settled into the dingy, smelly stable.
“Now!” commanded the Father.
I raised my fiery sword–for the battle would be intense as the enemy held nothing back in order to thwart the plan of God.
Through the intense pain of the final moments of our journey, we arrived. I knelt on one knee as I gently placed the Special One in the arms of young Joseph. When I released the small child, my heart cried out as I sensed what heaven would be like without his presence. As the stench of the surroundings filled the air, I remembered the stench of the world and its need for this Special One, this Savior.
I rose from my knee. In one swift movement, I towered over the quiet town of Bethlehem. With a thunderous clap, I summoned the heavenly host, and we swept through the town singing and shouting joyous praise.
“Hallelujah! The Savior is here!”
We reached across the sky, touching every star in the universe, haloing the brightest one of all. The display of lights danced in jubilant celebration for the world to see. Our voices carried throughout the tiny town of Bethlehem for all its residents to hear.
Then, my ear leaned toward the earth, waiting, and in a flash I shouted, “Halt!”
The length of my arms spread from one end of town to the other. Yet, the world was strangely silent, dark. No citizen stirred in Bethlehem. No one listened or heard. No one noticed the heavenly display.
I peered through the night. In the moonlit meadow and on the hillside I saw lowly shepherds still and on their knees. They looked up and questioned the wondrous sight they had just witnessed. I knew they had received the message. I moved closer as they cried out in fear and held their hands to their faces.
“Do not fear,” I proclaimed. “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the rest of the host became visible to the shepherds as we praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
A streak of lightning flashed across the sky, and the angels departed. I stayed to watch from afar.
The shepherds turned to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Their faithful obedience gave me hope for this plan, which mysteriously unfolded in a dark, apathetic world—a world whose inhabitants waited for a King to ride in with pomp and circumstance.
But the shepherds looked for hope in God’s special baby. They stood at the edge of the stable, amazed that it was as we had declared it would be. They saw the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, and they recognized him: My King, their King.
I nodded toward the Special One, a wee baby, and knew my assignment was complete. It was time for me to return to my post. For I am Gabriel who stands in the presence of God!
We wish you a very merry and blessed Christmas!