What’s your greatest Christmas memory? Mine will surprise you. It didn’t even take place at CHRISTMAS or in the United States. We were in Israel, the Holy Land, with our family and our Connect Group. It was November 2015.
On the final day of our trip to Israel, we had the privilege to go to The Shepherds’ Field. It’s a beautiful area just outside Bethlehem. One of the surprising aspects of our tour was seeing the caves in the hillside. Our guide told us most likely travelers who had come to Bethlehem would’ve kept their animals there and it was very possible JESUS would’ve been born in one of those stables.
Seeing The Shepherds’ Field, the caves and close proximity to Bethlehem was a special moment that’s hard to put into words. But we weren’t prepared for what was about to happen.
We entered a small chapel that has been built next to those fields. It was absolutely beautiful with artists' renderings of what it might have been like when those shepherds were out in their fields, watching their flocks and suddenly the angels announced to them the birth of JESUS in nearby Bethlehem.
Our guide, Yuval, turned to me and said, “You ought to lead them in some Christmas carols.” Remember, it was November. So I just led out singing, “Away in a Manger.” Then, “Joy to the World.” But then, as we began to sing, “O, Little Town of Bethlehem,” something happened. Something amazing. Something unforgettable.
We began to sing, “O, little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark street shineth, the everlasting light …” And as we sang those words, an incredible shaft of light came through the glass roof and filled the chapel with light. It was impossible to miss. No way it was accidental. It was, dare I say, supernatural. All of us who were there experienced it and were amazed by it. It was a God moment when He puts an exclamation point on something.
We finished the song, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” But then, as several wiped away tears, people started talking about the light that flooded the chapel as we were singing. Just at the right moment.
It was moving. Inspirational. Emotional.
Here’s my point. There are some God-ordained, God-arranged “God moments” coming your way in these next few hours. Don’t miss them. Watch for them. Absorb them and thank God for them.
The God Who spoke to those shepherds … in those fields … on the first Christmas Eve … through the angels ... is still speaking today. He has something to say … to all of us.
Your greatest Christmas memory may be yet to come!
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
[Here is the actual video of our singing and the light shining in the chapel back in November 2015].