JOY

Luke 2:17-18
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

Can you keep a secret? Sure, if it’s important. But who can keep JOY hidden?

The shepherds had seen an enormous miracle. God born of human flesh. Who’s going to go back to the sheep after that? Eventually they did, but for a moment, they had to scream it out. They had to shout to the neighbors, “Wake up! You’ll never guess what happened just down the street!”

The generosity in their communication revealed their concern for their fellow man. “If I was in their place, would I want to be told to come out in the cold to look at this miracle? Sure I would.”

The message of the shepherds was enough to make them put their shoes on and come look. Even if they stayed in their homes that night, they were touched by the news and by the reaction of those telling it. If they’ve been waiting for God to show up in their lives, don’t you know they were praising God and thanking Him for what He’s done.

The fact that they saw a child who affected them so much was cause for them to spend a lot of time that night simply thanking God.

Think of a sports reporter’s face just before he announces the team’s seventh loss in a row and compare that to his face just before he announces the team’s seventh victory in a row. Oh, yeah. If you’ve seen JESUS, people will know just by the look on your face.

Finding God

Luke 2:16
“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph,
and the baby, who was lying in the manger.”


Can you find your way around a strange place with ease? Some people are great at finding a museum in a city they’ve never been to. Other people get lost in their own city.

I’m sure God sent the angel choir to a group of shepherds who knew their way around Bethlehem. At that time, Bethlehem was full of people. Remember, the inn was too crowded for Joseph and Mary to get a room. But the shepherds knew where to find a manger with a newborn baby in it.

If I had been one of those shepherds, I would’ve thanked God that I could find that one manger where Jesus lay. God gave them a bright night with unusual starlight to help them see Jesus better. Could we find God any easier today if He sent us unusual starlight?

He sent us more than a star.

He expects us to acknowledge Jesus every season, but especially at Christmas time. I say that because if you look around, you’ll find pictures of Baby Jesus all over town. Nativity pictures and three-piece mantel sets are in many homes. There are the inflatable Nativity sets in some front yards or the simple painted board Nativity scene yard set. Whether inside, outside, one piece, or many, Nativity sets are everywhere and the main focus of the scene is Jesus.

This is a great time of year to give thanks to God for helping us find Jesus in this busy season.

Christmas Gifts

Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

A large angel choir sang to the shepherds in the fields. This is something that doesn’t occur every day. It got their attention. It was enough to make them leave the fields to see for themselves what they’d been told about.

The choir didn’t sing a song about how to get to the baby. It wasn’t about the woman who had just given birth to the Savior. The angels’ song was about God. The angels were giving God the praise, honor, and glory. They mentioned God’s message of peace. They sang about God’s favor resting on all humans. The angels were nudging the shepherds with this song that could be interpreted as, “God is so great! He’s doing you a favor, not only you, but all men all over the earth.”

When someone does you a huge favor, what’s your automatic reaction?

We accept the favor and thank the one who gave it.

After a song like that, the shepherds had to go check it out. They knew God was doing something He’d never done before. But they also knew that they were picked out of all men to be the ones to go and see it. How could they back down from that offer?

The shepherds ran with a thankful heart because they knew they were going to see something good. My own kids would run like that if I sang to them on Christmas morning, “Your daddy has given you something which is now out on the driveway.”

They know from the song that there’s something good out there and they’ll thank their daddy as they run to see it.

This Christmas season, I hope we all acknowledge God’s gift with a grateful heart. I hope we all remember to listen to the Christmas carols that speak of the birth of our Savior. I hope we all sing along with the angels and give glory to God.