Share Like the Shepherds
Brenda Nail DeLauder
Most of us are starting to take down our Christmas decorations as we prepare for the arrival of the new year. We wrap up all our nativity figurines and carefully pack them away in storage. The true meaning of Christmas however, should not be stored away, but carried into each new day. We should proclaim His glory and share the joy of knowing Christ in our everyday lives, just as the shepherds did.
Reading Luke 2 is a “Christmas must,” especially the King James version, because it’s worded so beautifully. The wonderful description it gives of the glorious night of our Savior’s birth, is one I revisit throughout the year whenever I need uplifting.
Much like having a song stuck in my head, the verses about the shepherds kept playing through my mind. In verse 17 we read, “And when they had seen Him, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” Just imagine their excitement for having witnessed such a spectacular blessing from God. The heavens opened up, an angel descended and started talking to them, only to have the angel joined by a multitude of the heavenly hosts, singing to the glory of God. Wow. To simply think about it fills my heart with joy, but to have been there and experienced it? One can only imagine.
The shepherds found Christ in the manger, then went to tell all they could about it. They shared the glory of God with probably all their family, friends, and every stranger they met. In verse 20 we read, “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Even after they headed back to their flocks they continued to share with all who would listen, and somehow I believe they never stopped. If you were one of those shepherds, would you only have told the story once or twice? I doubt it.
Keepers of the flocks were probably some of the lowest paid workers and yet God chose them, not some king or ruler, to be the first to hear the wondrous news in such a magnificent way. He trusted hardworking souls to pass on the best news ever to be told. Obviously He chose well, because the good news has been passed down through numerous generations so we too, can rejoice in the blessing of Jesus’ birth.
As we move into the new year, how can we be better disciples for our Lord? It’s going to be a battling political year, but to allow anger and ugliness to take control of our emotions will not serve anyone, let alone God. Debate the facts, but serve God by keeping an open mind and heart during the year ahead. Or how about during the coming months while stores sell their winter clearance, buy coats and other warm attire for those in need. Remember how you helped a food bank at Christmas? Maybe instead of once a year, drop off a few items every quarter. Go to the store with your kids and challenge them to find healthy food for the hungry. Their challenge can be a fun learning experience, and the results will be appreciated far more than you will ever know by those who receive it.
Let actions speak strongly in showing our love of our Lord. Every time we bite our tongues to stop anger we are serving God. When we reach out in kindness to a stranger, we serve God. May the glory of Christ continue to shine through each of us in action, word and deed. Happy New Year!
Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.