December 26, 2021
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Another Christmas has come and gone, the big build up, for some the chaos of the season, the day or two of celebration, but now that moment is over what now?
Is it back to things as usual, do we go into “clean up” mode, do we start phase 2 of “operation chaos” as we start taking down and putting things up, do we even take the time to marvel at what it is that we just celebrated or is it that we just celebrated family gatherings and gift giving?
What exactly happen?
When the angel came and announced to the shepherds that “ there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” they went to seek out this thing that they had been told of and after finding the babe they went about and spread the word. Did we even talk about Christ during our celebration, did we take a moment to thank God for the marvelous gift that is Jesus the Christ, or was the reason for the celebration lost to the celebration?
Fast forward a few days and weeks later, after the shepherds discovered the babe that the angel had told them about, what do you think was on their mind, what were the subjects of their conversations, did they continue to talk of what happen that night or did they just return to their flocks and not give it much thought? What about the people that they went and told, the scripture says that they marveled over what they had been told but did it change their life, did they wonder those many years later what had ever become of that child, or after so many years of continued Roman occupation did they merely blow it off as nonsense?
The celebration of that night so many years ago is replayed today in our time, we rejoice for a moment and then so much of what we celebrated is forgotten through the year, for many it is forgotten that night as our thoughts shift to the next celebration, where are we going for New Years, what are we going to do, are we even staying up?
Life, like so many years ago goes on, as does our focus and our thoughts, and will our life change because of what it is we celebrated or do we just return to our “flocks” and wonder year after year whatever became of that babe in the manger?
Each of us has had that angelic moment that the shepherds had even if we don’t realize it and even if it wasn’t as awe inspiring as what happen to them, because we are told Christ in John 6:44 that “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” somewhere in our lives God touched us and announced to our souls that we should go and see that babe that was born on that night in Bethlehem.
We didn’t stumble across it, because if we did we wouldn’t understand the magnitude of who he was, he would have been just another babe that was born, we didn’t set out to find a savior especially one who was born in a stable, instead it took God himself to draw us to him and recognize him for who and what he was.
John 6 goes on to say “…and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
So on Christmas day we are not just celebrating the birth of Jesus, but the gift of reconciliation to God almighty, if we just accept the gift.
I wonder if the life of those shepherds changed forever after the events of that night or forgot or dismissed what had happen to them because of the 30 year gap in the time of that birth and the time Jesus started his ministry.
We have been waiting for the return of Christ for over 2000 years; the shepherds only had to wait 30.
Think about the things that we share in common with the shepherds; we received the announcement of Christ through Spiritual means, for them an angel for us God himself putting it on our hearts, we both came to the savior to bear witness of who he was, them to a babe, us to the resurrected Christ, and between the time of that witness our life suffered ups and downs, both joyous times and times of sadness, times when we wondered where God was and why he is taking so long to declare his Kingdom on earth. We witness both tragedy and triumphs, and we even have just normal days doing our jobs and living our lives. And we like them probably wonder where he is now.
So, what now? What do we do in the mean time?
Maybe we REALLY need to start living everyday in the spirit that we celebrate Christmas, not just saying that we should, but actually doing it for once. Let everyday that we are given on this earth be as it was on that night that the shepherds were visited by the angels and let us have the spirit that we had at the moment that we knew we needed to accept Christ.
That is how we truly celebrate the birth of Christ that is how we proclaim him savior over our lives, not with empty words and gestures but with actions that proclaim that we are brothers and sisters to that babe in the manger and son and daughter to God the Father, not just one day a year but every day of the year.
Like the shepherds of that night who didn’t know when they started that day that they on that very night would see the savior of the world, we when we started this day do not know if today or tonight will be the time of His coming.
Christ warned us time and time again during his ministry on earth that that day would come without warning, and when it comes we had better be ready.
What if it came yesterday on the day we celebrated his birth, wouldn’t that be ironic and wouldn’t it for some be terrifying?
Both the shepherds and we are called for a purpose, God’s purpose.
It doesn’t matter how many years go by, or the events that happen in our lives, all that should truly matters is that we not forget to what purpose we have been called, to forget that is to celebrate Christmas in vain, to see just a babe born in a stable and laying in a manger and not the Son of God who was given to us so that we may be saved by him, and declare to the lost that Jesus is the way to salvation.
I asked the question “What next?” what happens today the day after the celebration of the birth of Christ. I asked the question but only you can answer. What is your answer to that question?