Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Reflection

So [the shepherds] hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby [Jesus], who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 2:16-20 (NIV) (emphasis mine)
The other night I was sharing this passage at the FBC Youth's Crazy Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. I have read, or heard, this passage what seems to be a hundred times or more. Yet, as it often is when we come to the living and active Word, something new stuck out to me. I have heard Mary's response pointed out many times - how she cherished , or pondered, these things in her heart...and the like. But, what stood out to me this time was the response of the shepherds. I believe their response is the one that should be the norm for those who encounter the Word of God and the Living God, Himself - Jesus!

The story shows the shepherds in the fields and the angels appearing with the glory and spender of heaven (I am seeing Revelation 4 here, or the passages from Isaiah or Ezekiel). The angels comfort them and tell them the good news of what has taken place that night. After encountering the word about Jesus they went and experienced the living Jesus for themselves. After, then, experiencing Jesus, God, the Savior of the world, the Messiah, they went away... glorifying God... and proclaiming what they had seen and heard to all the came into contact with.

This is the way it should be for all of us who have come into contact with Jesus, the living God! We have all heard of him... but then, when you meet him and experience him, for real, you cannot help but glorify God and tell everyone of the GOOD NEWS you have seen and heard!

I know what I desire my response to be. Often times it is not what it ought to be. This is not because Jesus isn't there and deserving of my awe and worship. It is, all too often, because I am simply not paying attention and truly gazing upon the glory and splendor of my Savior. I do not want to go through the motions of faith. I want to encounter and to know Jesus! I pray that this Christmas you will not be satisfied with merely hearing about Jesus. I pray that you will truly encounter and know Jesus!

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