SCRIPTURE: LUKE 2:17-20
When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
REFLECTION by Suzanne Phinney
Can you imagine how the shepherds felt? Terrified, of course, when the angel of the Lord appeared to them. Then a great company of heavenly host appeared as well, with their words of praise. Not something you see on a typical night of watching sheep! Off they went to Bethlehem to check out if what the angel said was true. Sure enough, there was the baby Jesus lying in a manger. I’m sure they were so excited that they could barely contain themselves. They left Mary, Joseph and Jesus (I bet they were running) and found everyone they could to tell about the visitation by the angels and that a Savior had been born, the Messiah, the Lord. They came back to the manger; my guess is to see if what they saw at first was still true. It was, and they glorified and praised God. I wonder if we reflect even a fraction of the enthusiasm and joy of the shepherds when we think about Jesus, let alone spread the good news that the Messiah was born to save us. On Christmas Day, I hope to experience the profound joy of Jesus’ birth, while also enjoying the gift of family.
Now what about Mary? She must have been exhausted, having just given birth, and not in the most comfortable of locations. I’m sure she held Jesus, and counted toes and fingers. Babies are amazing little creatures with so much promise in their future. But when has a multitude of angels and heavenly host announced the birth of any of our children! She knew for sure that little Jesus was special indeed. The angel said He is the Messiah, the Lord. Those had to be weighty words for Mary. What could the future hold? Certainly a question to ponder in her heart!
God, give us the courage to share the story of Jesus, like the shepherds did in Bethlehem. Help us treasure the glory of God made known to us in Jesus, the babe who was born and placed in a humble manger. Help us humble ourselves so that we make room for this glorious story in our lives. Amen.
May the love of Jesus draw you to himself, the power of Jesus strengthen you, and the Joy of Jesus fill your heart. Amen.