17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
God chose these humble shepherds to be the very first people to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth. Once they had visited Joseph, Mary, and Jesus they spread this message with great excitement to everyone they encountered. It is the same with new Christians today. When we first hear and understand the good news, it is hard to keep quiet! An interesting part of this passage is the verse about Mary. Luke makes a point to stop and note Mary’s actions and thoughts during this time. Like any new mother, she was treasuring these first moments of her child’s life. But her child was not just any child – He was the Son of God and the Savior of the whole world. She did not know all of God’s plan, but she was watching it unfold and trusting Him. Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds were all unlikely people to be chosen as key players in this story of Jesus. Through this story, we learn that God uses regular people like you and me to carry out his plan!
By now, your family has heard about the Heart2Heart focus at Pathway during this Christmas season. The refugees of the conflict in Syria are in need of the love of Christ in the form of supplies and safety. This week’s advent focus has been about God exalting the ordinary and using them to fulfill His great purpose. We are all like the shepherds in the field in that sense and we can be used to meet the needs of a refugee family this Christmas season! Stop by the Heart2Heart table in the atrium this weekend to get involved in sharing the good news of Jesus.
PRAY ABOUT IT!
God, You are great and mighty to be praised. The story of the shepherds reminds us that You can use us in great ways if we are willing. Help us open our hearts to Your call. Help us spread Jesus’ message in love to all of your children during this Christmas season. Guide our hearts to do Your will. Amen.