And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:20)
The shepherds were never the same. Christmas should do that to us. Being here celebrating it again, being face to face with what it means … we should never be the same after that. Christmas changes things.
Perhaps, as some of us can tend to think, you hear someone speak about being different because of what Christ has done for us, and you take it as a challenge. You, too, believe you should be different because of it, so you add it to your list. You’re going to work at this. You’re going to do like the lady said.
But here’s what I find so sweet about what God did for the shepherds. He put faith in their hearts to continue believing what they’d just seen. This was God’s work, everything that had happened leading up to the angels’ song. And it would be His work to keep changing the shepherds’ hearts after the angels had gone away and they couldn’t hear them anymore, just as it is His work to keep changing us after we’ve opened all the gifts and put the decorations away.
So let’s see what we should expect Him to do, by seeing what He did for the shepherds “which the Lord has made known to us” (Luke 2:15).
“And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child” (vv. 16-17). They couldn’t keep it to themselves. God chose these lowly, unknown shepherds not only to be the first to hear this wonderful news but also the first to share it with others. As we seek Him and ask Him to change us, He will give us opportunities to tell of this baby, this Savior, born for our salvation.
“And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them” (v. 18). It is not our job to convince people about the truth of what God has done for us (and for them) through Christ. Our job is only to keep celebrating and sharing the Good News of His coming and His redemption, and He will cause others to marvel, as we talk about what matters to us.
“And the shepherds returned”—because, yes, they had to get back to work. As do we. They couldn’t stay on that mountaintop where they’d seen the glory of God in full technicolor display, any more than we can keep it Christmas beyond the stroke of midnight. But they came back different. They came back “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” Christmas marked te rest of their lives. God had made them forever worshipers and evangelists.
May He do the same with us.
O Lord, we praise You, we glorify You, we exalt You, we worship You! For to us has been born in Bethlehem a Savior, Christ the Lord—our Jesus, our hope of glory. Do something new and different in me, Lord, because of how You’ve spoken to me throughout this season. I seek You and surrender myself to You. I ask You to make me never the same—because of Christmas.
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Try finding a worshipful, private moment at some point today where you can write out a prayer, expressing your desire to glorify Christ to all those around you. And remember, it’s not about you and what you can do to serve Him. It’s about Him—what He can do.
A 31-Day Advent Devotional