A season of signs and directions.
I’m not going to lie. Daily writing (especially for others) is a grind. I don’t want it to be a chore, but rather something I look forward to; however, I’m afraid to make it into something that it is not. Lately, the thoughts of what to write next have consumed me, and I’m stressing about how to get it done on time. I made a commitment to God, to myself, and to you that I would do this. Twenty-five days of writing about the true meaning of Christmas. It is truly a work of love. If the words don’t flow effortlessly onto the page, then I feel like it is being forced; and if it is forced, then it is unnatural. I pray that God gives me the right words to say and the right scripture passages to share. After all, it’s not about me or what I want. It’s all about what God wants. I want to obey His word, His voice, His calling; and in so doing, I want all glory to be His, not mine.
The message that I’ve been sharing the past few days is the most important thing I can ever tell you, but it’s not my message. I am just the messenger, sent by God, to tell the Good News about His love and His son and His promise!
That’s what the angels did the night that Jesus was born. They appeared to some shepherds that were in a field taking care of their sheep. Out of nowhere, an angel appeared to them. Of course, the shepherds were freaking out. But the angel told them not to be afraid because he had good news to tell them. A savior has been born!
And there were shepherds residing in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. Just then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him. 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 they had heard and seen, which was just as the angel had told them.
– Luke 2:8-20
Likewise, there were three wise men, from the East, who saw an unusual star. Believing it to be a sign that that the promised savior had been born, they followed it. No one told them what they were supposed to do, they just saw and believed. Eventually, the star led them to the home where Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him…they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
God gives us signs, but we have to be willing to receive and believe them. It’s on us to move in the direction of our savior.
In the case of the shepherds, the angels told them the good news, but the shepherds still had to leave their fields and go see Jesus for themselves. Then they could’ve kept it a secret, but they didn’t. After seeing Jesus, they went out and told everyone the news, and they glorified and praised God for everything they had heard and seen.
When the wise men noticed the star they could’ve decided it was something different, but this star shined differently in the sky, and could not be ignored. They assumed it must be a sign from Heaven. A sign that the promise they had been waiting for had finally arrived. So, they decided to follow it. As they moved, it moved, guiding them right to Jesus. They didn’t show up empty handed, either. They arrived with gifts, ready to worship Him.
These two well-known Christmas stories teach us a few things:
- God always gives us a sign, and tells us which way to go, but it’s different for each one of us (angels vs. a star).
- You get to decide what you will do with this information. Will you go where He tells you to go?
- If you follow God’s direction, you can’t help but worship and praise Him.
- Once you experience the glory of God in your life, you can’t help but tell everyone around you the Good News!
I am beyond grateful and humble to be able to share the good news of Jesus to anyone that will hear it. Like the angels, I am just a messenger, and all I can do is point you in the right direction. The reason I feel so compelled to share is because of all that God has done for me!
I guarantee you, after they met Jesus, the lives of the shepherds and the wise men were forever changed. When you experience the fullness of God in your life, you can’t help but be filled with more joy, find new direction and meaning, and a renewed purpose and passi0n.
I can say these things because I have experienced what it is like to follow God in my daily life, to move in His direction, and to be so full of his joy that I can’t help but worship Him. Just like the shepherds, I want to go out and tell everyone I know that what God has said he would do, he has done!