Welcome to our third devotional as we prepare our hearts in Advent for the coming of the Christ Child. Feel free to post your comments or prayer requests below. See previous posts to catch up, if you like.
Read Luke 2: 12, 15-16.
Rewind our imaginary movie: Teenage boys are watching over the sheep, possibly bragging over a new-found whisker or teasing each other about the girls in the village. They’re bathed in light more vibrant than that in the film “Close Encounters”, and they fall on their faces as the entire sky and earth rumble from the vibrations of music. Exit angelic hosts, and the trembling boys must decide what to do. Thankfully, the angel gave them a hint in verse 12, “This will be a sign for you”. The boys pick up on that phrase and run to nearby Bethlehem.
What do you think they talked about as they traveled? Did they take the flock with them or abandon them on the hill? I picture them reliving the entire event over and over, possibly bragging about how each was braver than the other. Maybe they hummed the angels’ song or commented on the angel’s appearance. At any rate, the shepherds make it to Bethlehem and the search is on to find the baby in a manger. They knew what that was and where most of them were in town. I don’t picture them worried about what they’re going to do once they find the baby. I think they went on pure adrenaline and obedience.
Do you think the shepherds felt awkward arriving without a present? Like everything else in our “movie”, there’s no right or wrong answer. If they did feel a twinge of guilt, I imagine they overcame it by seeing the look on Mary’s and Joseph’s faces. These young guests who had experienced a heavenly visit gave Mary and Joseph the best present of all—spending time with them, sharing in their joy, and possibly comparing notes on their angelic encounters.Give More is more about presence than presents.
Look at your calendar. Ask God to show you ways to adjust your schedule to Give More time with those you love and to spend time serving those in need. Mark it down on your calendar so you don’t forget to follow. Thank Him for those friends and relationships you treasure.