There is a lot of lip service paid to Christ during the Festive Season. As the time for the holidays approaches, most people begin to have Christmas parties, celebrating in the name of Christmas and even sing Christmas carols. Celebrities who would usually never say the Name of Christ – except when swearing - enthusiastically sing his birthday songs on prime time TV. And after the Season is over, continue to act as if nothing significant happened.
This is not what the shepherds did after they shared a heavenly Christmas service with God’s angels and went to see the Child. “They made known the statement, which had been told them about the Child.” (See Luke 2: 17 – 20)
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
And the shepherds went back; glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.”
The shepherds received a remarkable Christmas experience from God. And they did not treat it carelessly. They knew that what they saw, heard and experienced, was really very important. “And they made known the statement, which had been told them about this Child. (Luke 2:17)
All the Jews in those days had been taught at least something about the coming Messiah. There was urgency in their expectation. They understood the significance of God’s intervention through the long awaited Messiah.
So the shepherds knew that they witnessed a glorious, divine event of great importance.
What makes the difference between someone who only sings about Christ during Christmastide and someone who proclaims him and lives for Jesus Christ all year round?
The significance of Christmas escapes some.
Yet others cannot wait to proclaim it.
It is a true and life changing encounter with Jesus that moves us to proclaim Christ the whole year round. Having a relationship with Christ certainly makes the difference.
And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen ... (Luke 2:20)
Their attitude towards praise and worship changed too. After their encounter with Jesus, after enjoying a real Christmas - and after they had told everyone who would listen to them, the shepherds went back to their flocks and their everyday lives – but now they were glorifying and praising God with whatever they did.
This happens when Christmas is a real experience, and not an artificial, seasonal high that is part of enjoying holidays that just happen to be part of the community I live in.
When we celebrate a real Christmas, like the shepherds did, it will deepen our relationship with the King who was born! For, if we meet him, and know him, he becomes our Saviour and Lord. A real Christmas changes us into testifying, worshipping, praising and serving children of our God!
If you receive this real life experience from God this Christmas, like the shepherds did more than 2000 years ago, will you not sing his songs, pray his prayers and serve and celebrate the majesty of Jesus every day of your life?