“17 Now when they [the shepherds] had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” Luke 2:17-20 (NKJV)
The shepherds who came to see Christ after His birth understood the importance of His birth and in essence were the very first missionaries for Jesus Christ. In verses 9-14, angels came to the shepherds and proclaimed that they were bringing joyful news “to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” The shepherds went and saw Christ and were compelled to go share the good news of Jesus with everyone they knew. Then to top it all off, they went back and then glorified and praised God.
The shepherds on that first Christmas are a perfect example of what our hearts should look like every Christmas and year-round… hearts that long for the world to know Him and hearts that give God praise for sending Christ for us. Even when we are trying to focus on Christ at Christmas, it’s easy to get sidetracked from having the right heart. Make it a point this Christmas, and from everyday forth, to share the good news of Christ’s birth, death and ressurection and then daily go back and praise God for His love and mercy to all mankind by sending Christ for us. It will give Christmas a whole new meaning for you and maybe for someone who’s heart is ministered to by you.
Lord, please give us the hearts of those first Christmas shepherds. Let us see Your good works and know who You are, share it with the world, and always come back to give You the praise and glory. Let Christmas be a time of ministry in our lives and not just a time of gifts, decorations and stress. Thank you for sending us Jesus and for giving us examples of what You want us to do. In His precious name, Amen.