The stagehands are still scurrying about making last minute preparations. The curtain is due to open. There are different kinds of stage technicians and managers. Some barking orders; others quietly doing their job; others again panicking; and there are a few who just want to chat, drink tea, and not bother very much.
It might seem to be chaotic but it all comes together if there is a mastermind at the centre. Someone able to cajole, order, enthuse, doing whatever it takes, knowing everyone involved, to get everyone there.
A young seemingly inexperienced woman about to give birth, a man following dreams, a census, disorganized travel plans, a deadline to meet, shepherds trying to earn a living, and angels, singing, shouting, herding.
There is a lot of action and movement in Luke’s account of the birth of Christ, yet it doesn’t take a genius to see God in action. He has set this up. This has been his plan all along, his production. He has waited millennia, worked with all sorts of people, written and torn up innumerable scripts. Now is his time; it has finally happened.
The Father has waited patiently, creating, working in the background, sending his messengers. The Spirit has inspired the right people at the right time, moved them to respond to go where they are called.
All this to bring about the union between God and humanity in Jesus, Saviour of the World and Lord of Light; the greatest show on earth; no stupidity here; no pantomime behavior.
It is fitting that, outside the immediate family, as it were, the first to hear the message are shepherds. They reflect the action of God, tending, braving the elements, ignored, unaccounted for. They will have the last laugh; they are the ones who will go on their way rejoicing in wonder and in hope.
Try to be aware for a moment of all that is going on around you. Ask yourself if there is a pattern, a recurring theme, whatever that might be, pleasant or otherwise. God is real. He speaks to us through the events of our lives, guiding us, getting us to where we should be. Trust him.