Luke 2:17-18 – 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. (NIV)
We all enjoy sharing great joy and good news. We overflow with joy at the announcement of a new baby, a wedding, or an achievement in the life of someone near to us.
It is easy to relate to the shepherds that night outside Bethlehem, when the angels appeared to them with the good news. First, the shepherds acted upon what they had been told. They went and located the Baby and Mary and Joseph. Then, they began to spread the word. It was great news — the greatest ever heard and witnessed. "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 2:20 NIV)
They verified what they had heard. Had they stayed with the sheep on the mountain, they might have looked back later and thought it had been a dream, but they acted on the angel's words.
What a lesson this is for us today! Once we have heard the Word, we need to put it into action so that others can see what the Word means, as it applies to a person's life. Then, as we see the Word take root in other people's lives, our own joy will be doubled and run over because we will have seen the effectiveness of the good news all over again.
The shepherds were singled out that night to be the message-bearers of the greatest news the world has ever received. It is still good news today. It has been passed down to us, and we can glorify and praise God, as the shepherds did, by passing on the good news.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son, and for the faithfulness of the humble shepherds in passing the good news on to others and down to us in our time. Like the shepherds, we can still rejoice in the Baby's birth that night. Amen.