Skilled drivers pay attention to traffic signs. Signs govern our movement, prepare us for what is ahead, warn us against impending dangers, remind us that pedestrians are nearby, and other important things. We pay attention to signs.
Many of us are seeing signs of spring. Plants have begun to bloom and blossom. New leaves are budding from the limbs of trees. Grass that was dormant during the winter is beginning to come alive. Animals that carried their offspring during winter months are giving birth. The sun is warmer and we are planning trips and vacations, gardens and home projects. More people have taken to outdoor activities. Community parks are buzzing with many activities. In the air, there is excitement. Things are coming alive! We pay attention to signs for a reason; they prepare and announce that change is coming.
Israel should have focused more attention on the signs. The prophets hinted at what God was up to, what God was planning, what God was doing. The miraculous birth of Jesus arrived with unusual signs. Mary and Joseph received confirmations from Gabriel that God had made decisions that would affect them and the world. The trip they made to Bethlehem became another sign of God’s providence and care and the blessings bestowed upon the City of Bethlehem. The strange star hovering over Bethlehem, the mood of the shepherds as they received the good news that Jesus was born, the chorus of the angels, and the visit by the Wise Men who brought gifts fit for a king all signaled what God was doing.
The Gospel writers introduced their works with background information that confirmed words of the prophets and signaled God’s plan of salvation. As Jesus began His ministry in Galilee, He performed so many miracles. Jesus raised three persons from the dead. People stood in awe and marveled, especially at Lazarus (John 11) who had been dead for four days. There were key signs of God’s power and desire to usher in a new era of spirituality anchored in Jesus Christ. People saw the signs.
Many of us have wonderful, consistent, devotional, vibrant, and intimate relationships with God. Many can testify to God’s grace in our lives that has been evidenced by miraculous healings, needs being met, sins forgiven, and lives restored. As living testimonies, we share our faith with hopes that others will see the signs of Christ evidenced in our lives. We want people to celebrate what we celebrate, God’s gift of love to us in Jesus Christ. What was the sign? “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger (Luke 2.12).” Amen.