A Thrill of Hope
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11
Reginald Fessenden had been working for years to achieve wireless radio communication. Other scientists found his ideas radical and unorthodox, and doubted he would succeed. But he claims that on December 24, 1906, he became the first person to ever play music over the radio.
Fessenden held a contract with a fruit company which had installed wireless systems on roughly a dozen boats to communicate about the harvesting and marketing of bananas. That Christmas Eve, Fessenden said that he told the wireless operators on board all ships to pay attention. At 9 o’clock they heard his voice.
He reportedly played a record of an operatic aria, and then he pulled out his violin, playing “O Holy Night” and singing the words to the last verse as he played. Finally, he offered Christmas greetings and read from Luke 2 the story of angels announcing the birth of a Savior to shepherds in Bethlehem.
Both the shepherds in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago and the sailors on board the United Fruit Company ships in 1906 heard an unexpected, surprising message of hope on a dark night. And God still speaks that same message of hope to us today. A Savior has been born for us—Christ the Lord! (Luke 2:11). We can join the choir of angels and believers through the ages who respond with “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (v. 14).
Luke’s telling of the birth of Christ is a study in contrasts. We are introduced to the Son of God in the weakness of an infant, while powerful world rulers play their part in moving the family to the city of David. The shepherds were likely guarding temple flocks that would supply the sacrificial system at Jerusalem’s temple. Yet though they were treated as unclean by the religionists of their day, they are invited into the presence of the ultimate Sacrifice. From the humble to the heavenly and everything in between, these contrasts launch the journey of the Son who came from the highest place to be the Lamb of God.
In what way does the coming of Jesus touch your heart?
For further study download the brochure “10 Reasons to Believe God Offers the Perfect Gift” at discoveryseries.org/perfectgift.