Our Bible verse for today: “After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them … The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:17-18; 20 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “What are you taking away from Christmas?”
Today is the day after Christmas. I hope yours was a happy and joyful Christmas and that you are basking in the warm afterglow of a good time with family and friends.
But what are you taking away from Christmas? Perhaps you received some cool presents which you will enjoy and get a lot of use out of for a long time to come. And surely the memories of good meals and good company are special too and you’re grateful for them. But is there more than that? Through your Christmas celebrations did you have meaningful encounters with Jesus? Is your relationship with Him deeper, more vibrant and dynamic, as a result of having celebrated His birthday?
In the Christmas scene recorded for us in Chapter Two of the Gospel of Luke we read that the shepherds went to Bethlehem as the angel had instructed them, they found Jesus in the manager, and they worshipped Him.
The experience was so profound that it changed them forever. They left that manger as changed men. They then went out and excitedly told everyone they met the Good News that the Messiah had come, He was born as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem! We also read that all who heard this report were amazed. In other words, as verse 20 reveals, the shepherds were enthusiastically glorifying and praising God for the encounter they had with the baby Jesus.
So what about us? Now that Christmas has past have we simply shifted our attention to the New Year? Or was our Christmas experience so meaningful and significant that it has changed us and now we are more alive in Christ, and more enthusiastic about our relationship with Him, than we were before?
I encourage you to spend some time today re-thinking Christmas 2018. What did you learn? What did you experience? How has it changed you? What are you taking away from Christmas?