This weekend worship services ended up being completely different than what I expected when I woke up on Saturday morning. Changes can make us feel a strange amount of stress…but as we have been discovering over the past few weeks we can choose our responses to the situations that are happening around us. AND how I want to continually respond to difficult circumstances is with JOY! Not just a “happy go lucky” type of JOY but real, deep, unsettled joy; JOY that is a determined choice to praise GOD, JOY that is a settled assurance that God is in control, a JOY that is a quiet confidence that everything is going to be alright.
This weekend we looked at the shepherd who were the first ones to hear the GOOD NEWS of Jesus birth. These shepherds were not people that were looked highly upon. They were considered rough, perhaps dangerous and definitely untrustworthy. It’s so sad that a whole group of people can be put into such a negative category! BUT that’s where they were! AND GOD CHOSE to send angels to proclaim Jesus birth to THEM! Why did God give the lowest of the low the announcement? He wanted us to know that God would bring JOY thru Jesus to EVERYONE…no matter our status, our finances, our careers, or our history of mistakes. GOD told those shepherds to GO and proclaim this good news and He wants us to do the same!
How do we walk in JOY when we feel like the world is chaos around us and there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel?
Let’s look to the shepherds again….the people of this era had been waiting for the promised / foretold Messiah (Jesus) to be born for 700 years. They had waited with expectation for a KING to come and rule their people and free them from the tyranny and oppression they faced each day! The shepherds received this good news, that the Savior had been born and His name was Jesus, and they didn’t sit contemplating if it was real, they didn’t question the angels decision to tell them to go tell people, in Luke 2:15 the bible tells us “When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, Let’s go and see this thing that has happened.”They immediately went to see the prophecy fulfilled…they experienced the moment!
After finding the baby, the immediately went out and proclaimed the news to everyone that would listen. They chose to believe what the angels had said, they saw the newborn King and they accepted that He was the Messiah, the promised One! We can do the same! Believe that God sent His son, Jesus, for us! Seek him in the Word of God and through prayer, watch for everyday moments driven by the reality that God is WITH US, and rest in them! AND FINALLY, just like the shepherds, accept Jesus as truth, the baby that was born, grew up and gave His life for our ransom, and THEN TELL EVERYONE YOU MEET this great news!