Tell It On the Mountain Thursday, December 23, 2021
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the shepherds talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the shepherds were impressed. Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
Though the shepherds standing under a starry sky were social pariahs rarely invited into conversation who found themselves suddenly confronted with an angel from on high, they responded joyously to the unusual situation. Without hesitation, given instruction and information, basking in the pure joy of the news, they left immediately to see the Wonder of the World!
Traveling through the night and finding the Christ child swaddled and in a manger, they stood before the miraculous child and announced in the presence of his earthly parents the wondrous news of his birth “to all people.” The child, they related, would be Christ, the very savior that all had waited for so long.
Mary, the mother of the Christ child, sat quietly and listened. The news must have filled her with great joy, but she remained silent for almost 33 years. The shepherds, though, returned to their homes, “glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen.” They did not remain quiet about the event that they had been brought into as witnesses.
From that point onward, I imagine they spoke of seeing the birth of this child, as many of us have spoken of seeing the interesting or wonderful things in our lives. Births, perhaps… or winning horses… beautiful vacation spots… a beautiful, fast car.
But we so soon tire of telling and retelling the same story and pass it off for a new and exciting something to tell and retell.
How many of us go tell the story of Jesus on the mountain daily, or feel special because we are chosen to tell Christ’s story? Do we invite others into Christ’s presence? The lowly shepherds did. They continued to glorify and praise God for all they had been told. Let’s do the same.
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC
This devotional is a joint project between Christmas Lutheran (Bethlehem) and St. John’s (Salisbury, NC).