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And the angel came in onto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Luke 1:28 KJV

So, who is the GOAT? Those who live in the sporting world immediately know the parameters of that question. GOAT refers to the ongoing debate in sports as to who is the “Greatest Of All Time.” Pontifications regarding this question are as numerous and varied as armpits. Everyone has an opinion. Knockdown, drag-out fights ensure when the debate surfaces. Men who were previously friends cast a wary eye toward one another as they prepare to get down in the mud and slug it out. I should mention it’s mainly a man sport with women being involved in much deeper conversations. But I digress. And what weapons are brought into this arena of conflict? Stats are referenced, the number of big game wins are tallied, longevity and ticket sales are all fair game (no pun intended), but in the end, who the GOAT is is nothing more than an opinion.

I’m interested in a deeper question. Why should we care? Quick, who won the 1972 World Series and who was the most valuable player? Unless you’re a little nutty about baseball you are stuttering and stammering right now. I believe a better expenditure of our energy is to examine and debate concerning who are the SHEEP. After all, God revealed the birth of His son to shepherds, not goat herders.

I would suggest to you that those who fall into the category of SHEEP will shine throughout eternity in contrast to the GOAT who will be unknown in a few years. The former recognizes what God has done while the latter celebrates what men have accomplish. Now if you are fumbling to figure out the acrostic SHEEP it stands for “Singing High Enthusiastic Everlasting Praise” on the Christ who came to save us from our sins.

Singing praise to God saturates the Christmas story like butter on hot cornbread. Elizabeth broke into song when her cousin Mary came to visit her and told her about the angel’s announcement. She sang, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” Mary responded with her own song of praise that we call the Magnificat. “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46-48) Simeon broke into praise when Jesus was presented as a baby in the Temple for purification. The old widow Anna likewise sang to the glory of God upon seeing the babe in Mary’s arms.

Few remember last year’s NBA finals. Still fewer can recall the most valuable player, but we are still reading the story of His birth 2000 years later. What conversation would you like to have around the Christmas tree this year? Do you want to spend your time singing His praises or be included with a group of men who, “stare at goats?” I suggest you gather some people and go caroling.


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