Dec. 17, 2014
Scripture: When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them (Luke 2:15-20).
Thoughts: The shepherds not only heard the angel speak but they believed the angel’s words to be the Word of the Lord, that is, a message “which the Lord has made known to us.” And they not only heard but they obeyed the Word of the Lord with single-minded obedience, which is indicated by both their words, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,” and their actions, “And they went with haste.” This is a picture of the life of faith: we hear and believe the Word of the Lord and immediately act in single-minded obedience. This is faith. To hear the Word of God is to believe and to believe the Word of God is to obey. To live a life of faith does not mean one will always be understood (“all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them”) nor does it mean a change in one’s status or vocation (“the shepherds returned,” which means they remained shepherds). But it does mean a joyful and purposeful life, a life of “glorifying and praising God” in both word and deed.
Prayer: Eternal Father, help us to hear, to believe, and to obey your Word with single-minded obedience as the shepherds did and to glorify and praise you in our words and deeds. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Application: Hear, believe, and obey the Word of God today in an act of single-minded obedience, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says, to the glory and praise of God.