“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’” vs. 15
Luke’s amazing story doesn’t end with the message of the angels to the shepherds, because it’s really never enough just to get an announcement of good news. There just has to be a response! In this instance the shepherds immediately decided to go to Bethlehem so that they could see for themselves what the angel had told them. We’re wired to do the same sort of thing when we hear good news, and that’s especially true when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s how the Body of Christ has operated through the centuries. Messengers announce that God has acted in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and those who hear are moved by the Spirit to “check it out.” In a sense they decide to go to “Bethlehem” and see the Incarnate Word. And one by one, family by family, they are moved to give thanks and praise to God for this most wonderful gift. Of course this beautiful process can get short-circuited. Sometimes messengers forget they are angels, offer law in the place of good news, and hearers are unimpressed. How beautiful it is when the good news sparks joy and the way to “Bethlehem” is crowded with seekers! And some years that’s still what happens at Christmas.
Thought for the Day: How did the Christmas message move me this year?