If your church lights candles for Advent, yesterday was the day that the Shepherd candle was lit. The shepherd’s part in the Christmas story was celebrated and the amazing event they witnessed from speaking and singing angels to the newborn Messiah. Luke 2:15-20 continues their story after the angels departure. “When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
Several things I noticed in this passage. They debriefed one another and checked to see if they had really seen this miracle. That made them more human to me, they checked in with each other to be sure they weren’t dreaming or hadn’t just imagined it. Deciding they had all seen and hear they same thing, they went in haste- no waiting or pondering but immediate action! When they found the child they told what they had experienced and all they told were amazed- I imagine that telling went on for years, actually the rest of their lives. An encounter with God does that to you- it affects you deeply and causes you to reevaluate your life. Their story then led them to praise and glorify God. They had seen a miracle, been witness to God’s love and power and had a vision of the future for their people. Mary knew that what they said was true and she cherished their words and praise for God.
What about you? When you have a profound encounter with God, do you let that experience work in your life to affect change? Or do you put is aside and forget about it? I think God would want us to go in haste- begin our work for Him and desire to honor and glorify Him in what we say and do. Psalm 86:12 “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”
Seek to bring glory to God with each day and tell someone about who God is to you. Christmas is the best season to tell others about Jesus and what He did for them. He came as a babe to bring us life and hope. That is good news!