“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child”–Luke 2:17 (NIV)
What we will do openly over the next two days here in the U.S. will be done secretively in some places, under fierce persecution in others, and illegally in still others. (See this article from today’s WSJ.)
Since we are free to celebrate Christmas in our land, let us do it freely! Shall we be like shepherds? On the night that Jesus was born, shepherds out in the fields around Bethlehem heard that a great and glorious thing had happened. What they did next serves as a great example for how we should handle this Good News today.
They Dropped Everything
They “hurried off” to see the Child. They didn’t mix it in with everything else they had going on at the time, they devoted themselves to finding the Child that had come to save the world. So should we. Right away. With reckless abandon. Then…
They Told Everyone
They rushed out proclaiming the Good News! As in the old spiritual, they did some serious “go tellin’ it on the mountain, over the hills, and everywhere.” They didn’t hide this message behind Santa, “happy holidays”, or doing hand-to-hand combat at the mall over limited supplies of the latest “hot” gift. They devoted themselves to putting the ultimate message front and center, “The Messiah had been born!” So should we.
This Christmas, I pray that I will remember those who must celebrate this Christmas under trying circumstances and that they will be empowered by His ultimate freedom to joyously draw close to Him and shout the praises of His coming, even if they must do it behind tightly closed doors. I pray that I will remember that I am free in my land to openly draw close to Him and to shout praises from the rooftops that He has come. And that I will freely do it! And that I will do it to such a measure as to offer “praises by proxy” on behalf of those who are not free to do it themselves.
Merry Christmas All!