Marriage and Family: The Shepherd's Response to ChristmasDecember 25, 2012
So far, through our blog series "Responding to Christmas" we've looked at Joseph's response and Mary's response. If you haven't read them, you can always find these and others in our Archive section. And, by the way, don't forget to register to receive our blogs directly to your in-box. Now, let's turn our attention to the shepherd's: "the shepherd's returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." (Luke 2:20)
We think most would agree that one of the challenges of Christmas is to "keep the main thing...the main thing!" Demanding schedules, Christmas list, traveling, family, it all comes with some stress and strain. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, it's very easy to be overloaded physically, emotionally, financially and relationally. But in the midst of all of this, there is a secret from the shephards on how to respond to Christmas. A secrets found in one little verse, full of perspective. Read the verse again, did you catch it? The secret is they responded to Christmas through WORSHIP. If you want to slow down the Christmas buzz all around you...then turn your focus off of the "to do list" and onto the real reason for Christmas!
But why did the shepherds choose worship as a Response to Christmas? Again, in this one little verse, we find the secret. It's in the phrase: praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."
First, they worshiped because the birth of Christ was proof that God was faithful to his promises. Second, they worshiped because the birth of Christ was proof of God's faithfulness to his people. Jesus - Jehovah is Salvation, the Messiah - the annointed one has come.
Third, the birth of Christ is proof of God's faithfulness to his purpose. Christmas and the birth of Christ is God's proclamation to the world that God's Glory has come to the earth in the birth of HIS SON. God has literally lowered HIMSELF that you might be raised to NEW LIFE. God left heaven so that you might enter it!
You see, the Shepherds had no other response to Christmas except Worship! For what they had heard, seen and been told has now happened!
Here's some things to consider for your own life:
1. Have you forgotten about the first time you heard about Jesus? Take a moment and reflect on HIS life, HIS death, HIS resurrection, and HIS salvation of your soul.
2. Have you forgotten about what and how you have seen God work in your life and the life of other's? Take a moment and reflect on how God has worked in your life. Lay down a stone of rememberance on HIS faithfulness in your life.
3. Have you forgotten that what you have been told about Christ really can be trusted? Reflect back on the moment where God really came through for you...a moment where you knew he could be trusted!
4. Have you forgotten the faithfulness of God to his promises, his people and his purpose? Stop right now and reflect on how God has faithfully proven his promise to you. How HE is faithfully fulfilling HIS purpose in your life. You may not understand it all or see it all clearly, but this one thing is true...he will complete the good work He's started.
Do you know what just happened? You Worshiped. You, like the shepherds just praised and glorified God by turning your hearts attention toward the Father and Worshiped!
We hope this blog of how the shepherds responded to Christmas will refocus you on the real reason for Christmas! We'd love to hear from you and how the Lord is using this blog or any of our others to encourage your walk with Christ. Leave us your comments, you never know who will read them and be encouraged by how God is working in your life. We know we'd be encouraged to hear your story.
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PS - Deep calls to Deep...the revolution is coming 1.14.2013
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jeanne manning On Thursday, December 12 at 9:27 AM
Thanks so much for including me as a prayer warrior for your new ministry. Please contact me if there is anything that I can do to help. I will be praying with you and praying with your family in January. The call was a wonderful beginning to our Christmas season. Love and prayers.