God’s Astonishing Announcement Scheme

A different view of a glorious arrival

The birth of Christ astonishes us.

And not only the birth itself but the way in which God decided to present his Son’s birth to the world. With no big-budget marketing plan, social media campaign, or paid TV spots during the Super Bowl, the Lord chose an unsuspecting group of shepherds to introduce good news of great joy that will be for all people. Imagine how overwhelmed these poor shepherds must have been as a multitude of otherworldly angels appeared in the dark of night, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (ESV). We are caught in the throes of wonder when we consider the scale of this spectacle that God arranged for so few people so lacking in cultural influence.

But then we remember Mary, Joseph, a manger, and some animals. A scene that would make most parents shudder if they had to contemplate a birth this simple and obscure. As we grasp to envision these things, we remember that God’s idea of his Son’s divine childbirth did not include the extravagance and excess that we insist on to illustrate influence and importance.

In God’s transcendent economy, lowliness is how he wants us to understand godliness, to understand his Son. As Philippians describes, “Though he was in the form of God, [he] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” (2:6–7, ESV).

God’s astonishing announcement scheme will not likely be featured in leadership books, strategic seminars, or influencer videos for how to boost your brand, gain more followers, and advance your platform. God does something far more bewildering. He sanctifies our comprehension and unravels our …

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