December the 22nd finds us again in the Gospel of Luke chapter 2, verses 13-20:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”
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.”
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. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
I get a daily email devotional from Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham's daughter). I got this one on December the 8th of 2017:
“The Jews had many preconceived ideas about the Messiah based on their interpretation of Scripture and what they wanted. When Jesus of Nazareth came on the scene with His public ministry, He was neither the Messiah they had been expecting, nor the Messiah they wanted. The Jews wanted someone who would:
• raise their standard of living,
• grant them privileges without responsibility,
• restore them to the world power they had known under King David and King Solomon.
They wanted someone who would meet their physical and material and emotional needs.
They expected a glorious, victorious King who would rid them of the Romans and establish them in national peace and prosperity and prominence. But the first time He came, He came to establish the kingdom of God, not in the world, but in the hearts of men. He was born to die. And so He was rejected as the King of Hearts, then. But what about now? Would you crown Him King of your heart today?”
The Pharisees and the Priests, the religious elite, certainly had preconceived ideas about the Messiah. And when He had started His public ministry, they rejected Him as their Messiah, rejected Him as the King of their hearts. But, I don't think the shepherds on the hills outside of Bethlehem had any preconceived ideas about the Messiah. If they did, those ideas were shattered that first Christmas night. They were told, by an angel of the Lord:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)
I think the shepherds went to Bethlehem and saw the baby, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger, and they believed what they had seen with their own eyes was the Christ, their Messiah.
I have already given my heart to Jesus. He is already my Savior, my Messiah, the King of my heart. If you haven't done that, won't you please give Him your heart too? Won't you do it today? As Mrs. Lotz said in her email, "He was born to die." He was born to take the death that we deserved upon Himself and give us everlasting life in exchange. Won't you give Him your heart today, please?
Read Luke 2:20 again:
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The ornaments that go on the tree today are 14 angels, representing “the heavenly host.”
I love the music of the band Casting Crowns, especially their song Glorious Day. I love this song, especially the second verse:
One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
The hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me
He took the nails for me.
I don't think there is anything else to say.