“The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:20
One of the things I like most about Christmas is how so many people focus their attention on Christ. People travel from far and near to celebrate Christmas. Just listen to the daily news, there is “a whole lot of traveling going on.” And, people who never attend church — the rest of the year — make it a point of attending worship during the Christmas season! I guess one can say — it’s real easy to catch the Christmas spirit.
Maybe that first Christmas was something like what we see today! They had the angels singing, so the air was filled with Christmas music. They had the shepherds visiting, kind of like local friends dropping by. And, they had the wise men coming in from out of town.
But something interesting happened — after Christmas day!
In fact, if you think about it, life for everybody went back to normal. The shepherds returned to their flocks, and the angels silenced their singing. Even the wise men made the long trip back home. It seemed like everybody forgot about that Holy Night! It appears that everyone returned, except Mary and Joseph — whose lives had completely changed.
All of us who have had children know that the birth of a baby changes our lives forever! And a person can never be the same after they have had a child born into their family! For when a baby is born, many people come to see the little child, visit the hospital, bring some flowers or a small gift, hug and cuddle the little baby for a minute and then leave. Only the parents come away with being totally changed by the birth!
In thinking about our visit with Christ this Christmas, will we come away more like those who stop by for a few minutes to see the baby, and then go on with life as normal? You know, the ones like the shepherds and the wise men, who came to see Jesus, but then returned to their own lives? Or will we be like Mary and Joseph, for whom Christmas was only the beginning of a radical new way of life? Yes, their lives will never be the same again.
Certainly I would like to think that we would be more like the parents who never left Jesus, who nurtured their relationship with Christ and who kept Jesus in their hearts — after Christmas Day!
Rev. Marion J. Miller is senior pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church, Jeffersonville. Contact her at 812-283-3747 or email@example.com.