Most people would say the grandest miracle was something else … blind Bartimaeus, curing leprosy, raising Lazarus from the dead, or Jesus’ resurrection. But as Lewis points out, all other miracles either paved the way for this or happened as a result of the Incarnation.
Can you imagine the anticipation of the angels as they waited for God’s directive to go to the shepherds in the field outside Bethlehem to make that glorious announcement? From the time Gabriel made his statement to Mary all of heaven must have been abuzz with anticipation. My imagination runs a little wild when I think about a bunch of crusty shepherds tending their flocks one cold desert night. It was a clear night in the desert, so they were probably grousing about the chilly weather as so many workers tend to do on the second-shift outdoors. I can also imagine the stunned silence when the angels appeared to them. Every account in the Bible where an angel appears there seems to be terror. No kidding. When a giant creature comes out of nowhere with a glowing white garment it would tend to terrorize. But imagine a “host” of them coming out of nowhere on a dark desert night! I can imagine an innumerable multitude populating every hill surrounding them. Then, the announcement: “Why are you standing here dumbfounded? Go see the baby-Savior!” Then, as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared.
Inexplicably, they took off toward the a stable on the edge of the village and upon arrival could do nothing but bow before the infant-king. I love the understatement of the account in Luke 2: 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. I think “they went with haste” is hilarious. I can imagine them gathering up their robes and sprinting!
When we stop thinking of the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and the stable as a cute nativity set with everything in miniature, our imagination is free to think about the awesomeness of the scene. Truly, at that moment—at this moment—when considering the “grand miracle” the only reasonable thing to do is bow before the king in worship and join in the chorus: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill among men.”