“And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped
snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
God introduced Himself to mankind through names, and each one revealed another piece of His character. First, He was called Creator, then Lord, and then powerful names like Almighty, Most High, Lord of Hosts, and King. But to ensure we understand His caring side, God revealed names like Shepherd, Provider, Peace, and Healer. God wanted us to recognize Him.
So, when it came time for God’s most significant, stunning revelation of Himself, He chose a relational name, Immanuel, God with Us. And to ensure He would not go unnoticed, God sent an angel to announce Immanuel’s birth to some trembling shepherds, “You will recognize him…” His sign would be a few strips of cloth and a manger of hay. But would those shepherds believe…would they go…and would they recognizeGod?
I find it interesting that the angel did not tell the shepherds to “go.” They were simply given enough details to help them recognize the infant…IF they went. Something must have stirred their hearts that night that encouraged them to say, “Let’s go…let’s see…” Likewise, God put something in our hearts too…a desire to see Him…to recognize Him.
The “manger” in which we find our Immanuel today may not be what we expect. And, instead of strips of cloth, we may need to unwind some strips of doubt. But like the shepherds…
If we believe, we will recognize Him.
And when we do, let’s tell others so Immanuel will never go unnoticed!