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Christmas Advent 5: Preparing to Praise

Christmas Advent Day 5: Preparing to Praise

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:8-14, ESV)

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:20, ESV)

Picture this: you’re at work, having a pretty normal day. You’re doing the same old boring task you do every day and counting down the hours until the end of your shift. Then, boom!—the brightest light you’ve ever seen is shining down on you and heavenly voices are make an announcement specifically to you and your coworkers. Pretty shocking, right? It would definitely be a moment you’d never forget and probably be your favorite story to tell anyone who would listen. That’s what it was like for these shepherds as they worked late that night. What an amazing scene it must have been!

First, the angels praised God. With joy and excitement, the angels came to earth and declared the greatest news of all time: the Savior was born. It must have been awe-inspiring for them to witness this incredible event. The long-awaited Messiah had arrived, and in a few years’ time He would settle the debt of sin once and for all.  We can only imagine just how joyful they must have been. We hold fast to their words of praise even now, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 

Second, the shepherds praised God. Once the initial shock wore off, I expect they moved very quickly. They must have looked crazed, running through town and probably yelling about the craziest thing that had just happened out in the fields. When they finally saw the baby and relayed their story to Mary, they must have been so overcome with joy. It was true! There really was a baby, the Messiah, born in their small town that night. They really did see those angels! They couldn’t help but praise the Lord for allowing them to see His Son. I can only imagine how many times they would tell that story for the rest of their lives.

Lastly, we can praise God now. As we reflect on the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ, we are left with nothing but the desire to praise Him. How amazing it was that He, in all His glory, humbled Himself and came down in the form of a baby. He willingly came to earth, knowing what was in store for Him. He knew how He would suffer and die for people, some of whom would only ever despise Him, yet He did it anyway. Praise the Lord that He loved us long before we ever loved Him!

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