Day 16 - December 18, 2017

Be a Shepherd at the Christmas Party

The Christmas party will be here before you know it—it’s only a week away! Do you feel stress, excitement and anxiety growing . . . were the invitations all sent out? Did we make or buy the right gift(s)? What time are the guests supposed to arrive? What are we supposed to bring with us? Is it an ugly sweater party or a white elephant party? 

Let us take a step back—just as the angel told the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause you great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). How wonderful is that message? We don’t need to worry about all the details and let stress consume or change us during this time. There is good news—there’s actually GREAT news. 

The Lord our God sent His son to dwell among us. Who could ask for a greater gift than that? God took care of all the details. He sent the perfect gift. He takes care of our daily needs. He has us arrive just when He wants us to get to the next milestone in our journey called life. All He wants is for us to bring our hearts to Him. He doesn’t care what you wear or if it’s new or recycled. He sent the perfect gift and wants us in return. Us that are imperfect—us that have fears and worry—us who have sinned—us who have strayed like lost sheep—us who are hurting or struggling—us who are finding a new “norm” with changes that have taken place in our lives—us who are broken.

He sent a great message for us all to hold in our hearts, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14). This message was meant to be shared—and that’s exactly what the shepherds did. They trusted in the Lord’s message and went to find the new babe. 

 “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child” (Luke 2:17). The shepherds spread joy to all who heard the good news of Christ’s arrival—they spread hope to all those who were lost—they spread love; love for something greater than themselves. 

And Mary—oh, how she is a light at this party—“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Isn’t that what we should all do? Gather up the blessings that God has provided in our lives and ponder them—remember that blessings sometimes come in different packages. Challenges, obstacles, heartbreak, opportunity, new acquaintances, friends, family—all of those items, and more, make us who we are meant to be in God’s eyes. 

After spreading the good news, “The shepherds 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). “Just as they had been told . . .” God tells us that He will be with us always and that He loves us unconditionally. Find that joy and remember to be the shepherd at the Christmas party . . . spread the good news and rejoice in what God has told us!
 
submitted by Lara Boyd

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