Lesson of the Shepherds

Believe, Obey, Tell, Experience

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord" Luke 2:11.

For me and my wife, Margaret, Christmas can be a difficult time. At family holiday celebrations, there are two empty seats: Kyle’s and Kristin’s. However, Christmas also gives me HOPE through the gift of a Savior. We did not “lose” two children - I know right where they are - with Jesus. They just beat me home! Margaret’s father and mine invested in our lives spiritually. They modeled for us and taught us about the importance of a relationship with Jesus. They planted the spiritual seeds of faith, hope, trust and love in our lives. Through the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit, they continue to grow: reasons to rejoice especially at Christmas.

During Christmas we focus on the main characters: Mary, Joseph and, of course, Jesus, but in Luke 2:8-20 the shepherds have taught me to remember four things to do at Christmas:

The angels announced in spectacular fashion that the Messiah had been born. As soon as the angels left, the shepherds looked at each other and said: What are we waiting for? Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. There is no debate. There is no procrastination. They don’t decide to sleep on it. They just believe it.

The world loves to celebrate the birth of Christ, but they hate to obey him as the Lord of their lives. Everyone wants to keep Christ in the manger. But the manger is meaningless apart from the Cross. Christmas is a time for obedience.

If we do all that Christmas “stuff” but don’t talk about Jesus; if we neglect to tell someone that this child was born as Savior and Lord, that He was sent by God to die on the Cross for us; then we’ve failed to do Christmas right. The angel said this is good news of great joy which shall be for all the people. Share the joy.

The shepherds were overwhelmed at the angel’s announcement. They experienced holy wonder. How can you engage in holy wonder? The work of holy wonder is treasuring and pondering the fact that God invaded planet Earth on a perilous rescue mission. Amidst all the activity, stop and treasure all these things. Ponder them in your heart. Engage in and experience some holy wonder.

Dear Lord, May we all engage in and experience some holy wonder. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 Bob Schuemann

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