Celebrate a Real Christmas!


Luke 2:17-20 - And when they (the shepherds) had seen this, they made known the statement, which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things, which had been told to them by the shepherds. 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.


They made known the statement, which had been told them about this Child. (Luke 2:17) The shepherds received from God an amazing spiritual experience. It was not something which they took lightly. They knew the significance of what they had seen. All Jewish children had been taught something concerning the Messiah. It was virtually impossible to grow up in a Jewish home and be ignorant of the awaited Messiah.

These shepherds understood that they had witnessed a glorious, divine event.


There is a lot of lip service paid to Christ at Christmas. As the time for the holiday approaches, people from all walks of life begin to gear up by having Christmas parties, singing Christmas carols, and celebrating in the name of Christmas. Entertainers, who would not be caught breathing the name of Christ most of the year – except when swearing - proudly sing his birthday songs on prime-time TV. After the holiday is over, however, they act as if it never happened.

This is not the spirit exhibited by the shepherds after they had seen the Child. They made known what they have learned about him!


What makes the difference? The difference in someone who only sings about Christ at Christmas and someone who proclaims him and lives for Christ all year round, is whether that person has experienced a true life-changing encounter with Jesus. It escapes some. Others should proclaim it. It is an encounter with Jesus that moves us to proclaim Christ the whole year round.


And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen ... (Luke 2:20) Another characteristic that the shepherds displayed, was an attitude of praise and worship. After their encounter with Jesus, - a real Christmas - and after they had told everyone who would listen to them, the shepherds went back to their flocks and everyday lives - glorifying and praising God.


Before this encounter, who knows what problems and circumstances they were facing. Now they had a reason to be grateful. Now they had a reason to worship. Now they could be glorifying and praising God, because a change had taken place in their lives.


This happens when Christmas is a real experience, and not an artificial, seasonal holiday high. When we celebrate a real Christmas, like the shepherds, our relationship with the King who was born is deepened, and he now is our Saviour and Lord. A real Christmas is one that changes us into worshipping, praising, serving children of God! A real Christmas is one where the eternal Word is born in our hearts by the Spirit and through him, we receive eternal life!


If you received this real-life experience from God, in Jesus, would you not have longed to sing his songs, pray his prayers and serve his majesty?