The Night Love Lit the Sky

I have heard this year that the aurora borealis is seen from many new locations– brighter and bolder than before– and how my heart yearns to see the whole sky light up in beautiful color, straight from our Maker Himself. 

The closest I have ever been to seeing the whole sky light up was one of two things: either the best firework display I’ve ever seen (Coors Field for 4th of July 😉) or the most natural and beautiful lightening storm— you know the ones that light up the sky with hues of purple. Often there is not even one clap of thunder, just flashes of lightening and color lighting up the sky. 

It’s unusual to see the sky lit in such different ways— whether aurora borealis, fireworks, or beautiful natural lightening storms. Something is almost “miraculous” when even the sky shifts in lighting and color…

Perhaps it was not so different from that special night, two thousand years ago, on the hillside in Bethlehem. Yes, that was a night that God’s unconditional love lit the whole sky… a night that changed the lives of not only the lowly shepherds out in their fields tending sheep but also changed that of a nation, that of a world— that of you and me. 

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. 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 a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests’. When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2:8-15

One day, in heaven, I will wish to replay the lighting of the sky that night. How wondrous, glorious it must have been as heaven opened up and the angels descended, all singing “Glory to God in the Highest”. Now, that is one wondrous birth announcement! 

The shepherds in the fields that night were shocked (terrified even) when they saw the heavens open with their own eyes! The message so “shocking” and life changing, they left all responsibility and went to visit the Christ child, to worship the newborn King.  And even that was not enough “celebration” for the shepherds whose lives had been changed— they went out to share the news becoming the first ones to spread Christianity throughout the hillsides. 

I love that God reserved this special visitation for the lowest of people… shepherds weren’t often associated with as their jobs were the lowest of the low. It’s even suggested that these lowly shepherds were watching over the actual sacrificial lambs for the temple. The night the angels announced the birth of the ultimate sacrificial lamb- Jesus- who would die to take the sin of the world it was to the shepherds who truly understood the matter. Wow! God changed the shepherd’s lives… no longer were they just shepherds, but witnesses… messengers of the mighty event of God’s coming to earth through the baby Jesus. 

The same can be true for us too, friend. We are visited each Christmas, through God’s presence and truer-than-life Christmas story, and our hearts are again renewed to the Good News. Although perhaps the literal sky does not change its brightness for us this season, if we will take the time to let God’s story (His love brought down to us at Christmastime through His Son) soak into our hearts— God’s unconditional love will light up our lives, just as His love lit the whole sky that night two thousand years ago. 

Let His unconditional love come and wrap around you, friend. 

He whispers to you, “Accept the love I sent down… accept it fully into your heart, letting it overwhelm, soften, and fill you.” 

We look up into His eyes. 

He has done all— even descended from the highest heaven to come to earth to draw us near, cleanse our sin, and give us a right place with God again. 

Yet still… our answer hangs in the balance. 

Our answer should be quite obvious: yet due to pain, disappointment, hurt, sometimes we hold back. Sometimes we pause more than necessary. 

Just look in His eyes, dear friend, accept His love once and again for you. 

Accept His renewing, comforting, powerful, life changing love. 

Perhaps you’ve done it once before. Friend, this is something we can do anew every day. 

It’s as simple as a whispered prayer:  Jesus, I am accepting the love you sent down— the love that lit the whole sky. The love that changed so many lives back then and is still changing lives today— my own included. Thank you that your love is unconditional: you pour out your affection on me without any limitations or conditions. It’s simple pure love. The best gift of all. 

And when we let His Love enter and light even the forgotten corners of our hearts— it transforms us. We become like the shepherds who accepted the message and were instantly filled with His light, with purpose for spreading the message near and far. 

This Christmas, let His love light up your heart, give you all the love you need, transform and change you, impassion you for spreading the message of His kingdom. 

Let me tell you, friend, this is real living. It is Kingdom living and is the only thing that will last for eternity— accepting Him, living with Him and for Him each day. 

If this is the first time accepting His love into your heart, whisper a prayer to Jesus today. It can be something like this: 

“Lord Jesus, I invite you to come into my life. I believe that you are God’s son and you died for me. Your precious blood paid for all my sins and purchased eternal life for me. I now say ‘Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior!’ I’ll never be alone again. You are here for me everyday, in every way. Thank you, Lord! Amen.”

That’s all… it can be as easy or eloquent as you would like. The main thing is saying it from your heart….

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Romans 10:9-10

And for anyone who has already done this first step I urge you to whisper your own prayer each and every day, accepting anew His unconditional love. 

“Lord, your transforming love has changed my life ever since I became yours. Fill me today fresh and anew with your love. Empassion me with your love and message. Give me opportunities to share YOU to the world around me.” 

It’s amazing when we give that open door to the Lord what He will do with it. He will continually fill your heart and send certain people your way who need to hear the Good News. Yes, we get to be the modern day shepherds— witnesses, messengers of His love that lit the sky all those years ago— His love that is still lighting our lives each and every day. 

Here’s my prayer for you this Christmas: 

May you feel the unconditional love of Jesus wrapping around you, holding you close. I pray that you would sense His presence in a deep and wonderful way— banishing any thoughts of loneliness— and instead filling every corner of your heart with His love. May your life shine with His glory— and may it be impossible to keep it to yourself but instead become a bright beacon for others, drawing them to the truth of Jesus Christ. 

Merry Christmas! 

Until next time, 

In writing this article I was reminded of one of my favorite Christmas songs as a teen. Take a listen: 

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