Ready for Christmas? How often do we hear that question asked. I think the one asking is wondering if we have our tree up, gifts bought and wrapped, baking done, house cleaned, and so on. I think of something else.
Is my heart prepared to worship Jesus - Immanuel, God with us?
I love the story of the shepherds in the fields, who were the first to hear the message from the angel that the long-awaited Messiah had been born. And they were told where to find Him, and how He would be recognized.
Imagine witnessing that great heavenly host of angels as they gave glory to God! After the angels left, they hurried to Bethlehem to see the baby.
I remember teaching a class of two and three year olds at our church. Small as they were, they recited a poem. "The shepherds were excited to see God's only Son. The Bible says they came with haste; I know I would have run!"
The shepherds were the first people to see the Lamb of God. How appropriate! They worshiped Him.
"O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord."
After they had seen Jesus and worshiped Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this Child. They could have told how the angel came and announced the Saviour's birth, or how the glory of the Lord was shining all around them, or how the angels were giving glory to God. But instead of speaking of their personal experiences, they focused on Jesus. What a witness that was. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
The story of the shepherds challenges me to focus on the One who became flesh and dwelt with us, who paid a debt He didn't owe because we have a debt we cannot pay. The spotless, sinless Lamb of God came to take away the sins of the world.
I am reminded of the song, O Come, All Ye Faithful. And so we come, as did the shepherds, to bow down and worship. But then we must share the good news with others. "Go Tell It On The Mountain," Jesus Christ is born!
May those with whom we come in contact over the Christmas season see that Jesus is at the centre of all we say and do. And may this celebration be a blessing to you and your family. Have an amazing Christmas!