Verse 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Yesterday we talked about how the shepherds were blessed by being chosen to be given the glorious royal birth announcement. Today we look at what they did upon hearing the message.
When we hear good news the first thing we want to do is share it. We can’t help ourselves. And we can’t wait to see when someone has something exciting to share with us. The shepherds were no different and they had heard such glorious news! News that had been anticipated for generations. This was the biggest news that would ever come to the world and they knew it.
As soon as the band of heavenly beings leave the shepherds discuss going to town and everyone excitedly agreed that was what they should do. This excitement must have been overflowing all the way to the stable. They were likely chatting about the crazy night they were having. Maybe they were marveling about the sight that they had just seen. Maybe they were thinking about how strange it was that they were the people to experience it. Maybe they were joking about how high one of them had jumped when the angel had shown up. No matter the discussion, this was a happy trip to town.
They reach the stable overflowing with joy and find a tired Mary and Joseph and the tiny Messiah. And though tired Mary and Joseph must have felt some awe at being in the presence of the promised Babe. Mary had not likely had any easier delivery than the average woman but this was still a special birth. There were likely memories of angel visits being reminisced about between the couple. And it was into this special family moment that the shepherds come to the entrance with their own special angel story.
When the shepherds left they become the first missionaries of who this Baby is. They tell everyone they meet how they were told that the Messiah has been born and that they have seen Him. And as they are leaving and telling the world around about Jesus, our passage takes us back to the stable for a brief look inside, and we see Mary putting every detail to memory. And then the scene heads back out to the shepherds heading back to the fields, glorifying and praising God for everything they had seen and because everything they had seen was just as the angel had said it would be. They couldn’t help but spread the joy of Christmas to everyone that they found and neither should we.
Making It Personal
When was the last time that you spread the joy of the Christ of Christmas? When was the last time you felt the joy of Christmas? Who can you share to joy of Christmas with this Christmas?
Making It Personal Kids
What makes you happy about Christmas? How do you think the shepherds felt seeing the Baby Jesus? Who can you tell about the joy of Jesus being born?
Father, how can we help but praise You with great joy over the birth of the Baby Jesus so many years ago. May the joy of the Messiah be so real to us that we can’t help but share it with everyone we meet. In Jesus’ name, amen.