“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about (Luke 2:15, NIV).”
The shepherds give us a great example to follow when we hear God’s word. They responded immediately. We read that the outcome of their visit to the stable was they “… 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).”
In the meantime, the shepherds told others what the angels pronounced: “… 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 (Luke 2:17-18, NIV).”
Luke us giving us a brief study of the human response to the incarnation of Jesus: Whereas the shepherds responded with belief, the others responded with amazement. It is a difference of worship and wonder.
Many will respond to the wonder of the Christmas – the sights, sounds, smells, tastes. It is a festive and joyful season. But God would have us respond like the shepherds – to graduate from wonder to worship. God wants us to respond to his Son.
We’ll talk about how to do that on Sunday in the last sermon of my series “The Cradle, Cross, and Crown.” I hope you’ll join us for worship!