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, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
It was my fiancee’s birthday recently. Well, she wasn’t my fiancee at that point! To celebrate, I took her to a posh hotel just outside Belfast for afternoon tea. The food was delicious and the views over the lough and the mountains were incredible. What is most memorable about the trip, though, is that I proposed to my girlfriend, and she accepted! As soon as we had decided to get married, we couldn’t wait to tell all our friends and family. We told her parents first, and then I phoned mine. We also made sure that one of the first people we told was the mutual friend who had introduced us. Then, it was a steady stream of text messages, phone calls, emails and Facebook messages to let our other friends know our good news!
When you have good news like that, you want to share it with other people, and to tell anyone who will listen. In today’s verses, we see the shepherds react in a similar way to the birth of Jesus. They had been told about Jesus’ birth by the angels, and then had hurried off to find the baby for themselves. When they got there, they saw that everything was exactly as they had been told. They were so excited at seeing the baby Jesus, and so amazed at what the angels had told them about this child – that he was the saviour, Christ the Lord – that they couldn’t wait to tell everyone about what they had seen. They were bursting with excitement, and had to share the news. The people who the shepherds told were, themselves, amazed at the news.
So often in our present age we can get dispassionate about our beliefs; we say that we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but we don’t seem to get excited by the fact. We celebrate Jesus’ birth, but don’t really seem to grasp the significance of this world changing event. So, as we celebrate Christmas today, I pray that we would all get excited about the big news of Christ’s birth, and that we would be desperate to tell everyone we meet about Jesus.
A very happy Christmas to you!