Some say those infant pictures taken minutes after the baby is born – are mostly special to only the parents and the grandparents. Oh yes, everyone is thrilled to get a picture of the planet’s newest arrival,  but how many actually take it and get it enlarged and then framed – to occupy a prominent place on their mantelpiece? Only the closest relatives – closest! Some dreadfully callous people, at the sight of a just-born-babe, deadpan: “A baby is a baby.”

The shepherds had no cameras to carry into the stable – nothing for a close-up. Their technology was limited. They only had the camera of their own eyes and the album of their memories in which to store the scene. But they had something that we never have when we get our first glimpse of an infant. They had advance knowledge of who the child was and why He was born.

The shepherds had the briefing from a high-ranking angel, accompanied by a blazing light show that would make our laser shows and pyrotechnics pathetically puny in comparison. This was followed by a spectacular sky-full of angels praising God. When the shepherds walked into the cave-like stable that night, they knew their eyes were going to behold – not an infant who had the potential to be great – they would be seeing an infant who was, in fact, right then and there, great! Greater than all others ever born. The greatest of the great.

So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. Luke 2:16-17

The shepherds were told in advance that the baby was the long-awaited for Saviour, Christ the Lord. What a moment when their eyes looked into the infant’s face!

When infants are born, we look into their eyes and we know they have the potential to live a life of significance. They have the potential to do great things for God. But the baby the shepherds saw that night wasn’t the beginning of a life that could potentially be great – they saw Greatness itself – or Himself.

When you first looked, by faith, at Christ as your Saviour – you did not enter into a blessing that could potentially be great; you entered into a relationship that was, is and will be eternally great because of His own eternal greatness. Other relationships have potential to be great; but the relationship with Christ is incomparably great because of who He is.

Dear child of God, that baby in Bethlehem was God’s amazing gift to this world.  His gift to us. His gift to me. He is Christ the Saviour – Christ the Lord. Can you say: “Jesus my Saviour and Christ my Lord?” It’s one thing to say it – but how does it affect me today? Am I living and walking in the dignity of the personal relationship I have with the Great One? Or am I am smothering in smallness or wallowing in worldliness or pouting in pettiness or burning with bitterness?

Fall on your knees today and look into His Face.  Focus on Him and you will change. The shepherds could never be the same again, nor would they ever think the same again.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ

Peter Ramsay

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