“When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see the wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Then the shepherds spread the word about what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:15-18
I recently reflected on the account of a missionary team that had been invited to Russia to teach Christianity. It happened to be during the Christmas season and as they taught the story of Christ’s birth at an orphanage, everyone listened in amazement. None of the kids or the staff had heard it before.
The missionary wrote these words: “We gave the children some materials and instructed them to create the manger scene they had just heard about. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat; he looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. I called for a translator and asked why. Looking at his completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story accurately, until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib his own ending to the story.
He said, “When Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mama and no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and told me I could stay with Him forever.” Putting his hand over his face, Misha’s head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. For the first time in his life, he had found someone who never would abandon or abuse him, someone who would stay with him forever.”
In Luke 2, the shepherds traveled into Bethlehem, met baby Jesus and were so excited, so thrilled, so energized that the Bible tells us in verse 17 that “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.” I have to believe that those men were changed for life because they experienced the presence of Jesus firsthand. They couldn’t keep quiet about their personal encounter with Jesus. Joy overflowed in their actions and in their words. Luke 2:18 goes on to say, “And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” How cool is that, ALL who heard it were amazed!!! Just like Misha and all of the children in the orphanage. This amazing message from God told by angels to the shepherds was life changing. All you can say is once you meet Jesus, you can’t stay the same. A transformation begins to take place in your life. The birth of this little baby made all the difference in the world.
Have you ever met Jesus? Have you ever had a personal encounter with the Son of God? If so, when was the last time you acted as one of those shepherds, spreading the word and informing everyone you know that you met Jesus? That you had a real, personal encounter with the Son of God?
God has delivered a good news invitation to you today. He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28) and “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
What is your response to God’s invitation?
Read the Christmas in Luke 2…Listen in Amazement…Trust God…Accept Jesus Christ…And Spread the Word!!!
Posted on Thu, December 5, 2013
by Sam Petitfils