So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. The baby was lying in the feeding box. The shepherds saw the baby. Then they told what the angels said about this child. Everyone was surprised when they heard what the shepherds told them. Mary continued to think about these things. She was trying to understand them. The shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything that they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them.
— Luke 2:16-20
If we will allow it to touch us, the birth of Jesus can produce the same reactions in us as it did in those three groups touched by it. The villagers were astonished at the story—and so are we, because God would love us this much. Mary stored up the words and events in her heart like treasure—and so do we, when we read the story of Jesus with love, joy, and anticipation. The shepherds returned to their work, but they do so with joy and praise knowing that their world would never be the same. God has come and visited us. He has shown us his love. He has ensured us that life doesn't have to have its normal boundaries. So we greet this story and this Child with astonishment, taking in each story and every word as a treasure, while offering our heartfelt praise to God for his gracious love.
O Almighty God, so majestic and yet so accessible, thank you for drawing near us when we could not draw near you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
That night, some shepherds were in the fields there watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord (God) stood before the shepherds. The glory of the Lord was shining around them. The shepherds became very afraid. The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid. I have some very good news for you. It will make all the people very happy. Today your Savior was born in David's town. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box." Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying: "Praise God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace to the people that please God." The angels left the shepherds and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, "We will go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. We will see this thing the Lord (God) told us about." So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. The baby was lying in the feeding box. The shepherds saw the baby. Then they told what the angels said about this child. Everyone was surprised when they heard what the shepherds told them. Mary continued to think about these things. She was trying to understand them. The shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything that they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them.
Related Scripture Readings
Then Jesus told the followers to get into the boat. Jesus told them to go to the other side of the lake to Bethsaida. Jesus said that he would come later. Jesus stayed there to tell the people they could go home. After Jesus said good-bye to the people, he went into the hills to pray. That night, the boat was still in the middle of the lake. Jesus was alone on the land. Jesus saw the boat far away on the lake. He saw the followers working hard to row the boat. The wind was blowing against them. Sometime between three and six o'clock in the morning, Jesus went to the boat. Jesus was walking on the water. Jesus continued walking until he was almost past the boat. But the followers saw Jesus walking on the water. They thought he was a ghost. The followers shouted with fear. All the followers saw Jesus and were very afraid. But Jesus spoke to the followers and said, "Don't worry! It's me! Don't be afraid." Then Jesus got into the boat with the followers. And the wind became calm. The followers were completely amazed.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. One day a man found the treasure. The man was very happy to find the treasure. He hid the treasure in the field again. The man went and sold everything that he owned to buy that field.
Many people spread their coats on the road for Jesus. Other people cut branches in the fields and spread the branches on the road. Some of the people were walking ahead of Jesus. Other people were walking behind him. All the people shouted, "'Praise Him!' 'Welcome! God bless the One that comes in the name of the Lord!' God bless the kingdom of our father David. That kingdom is coming! Praise to God in heaven!"