Sunday, December 17, 2017

Back to Work With Joy!

We can best celebrate the birth of Jesus by returning to our every day duties with joy! This is what the shepherds did.  The shepherds had just seen angels, heard their marvelous music, and had seen the Christ child. After all this, we read that they "returned glorifying and praising God...." With joy the shepherds returned to their common, everyday duties of attending sheep. Christian joy, unlike worldly joy, fits one for duty. This is because Christ brings joy; Christ brings joy into the performance of duty.  He gives strength for the assignment because the joy of the Lord is our strength.

No doubt as they went about their tasks, those shepherds were joyful a very long time, if not the rest of their lives thinking about what they had witnessed. Shepherds were the least in the community, and were relegated to work on the outskirts of town because of the smelly, dirty job they did tending sheep. That they would be visited by angelic hosts, that the LORD would reveal himself as a baby to the likes of them, oh, what joy!  We should understand that Jesus doesn't come in "showy" ways, but in "lowly" ways. He was born not in a palace or a mansion, but in a stable in a manager.   He appeared not before kings and dignitaries, but before shepherds in a field. He came to extend peace and goodwill not just to certain pious people, but to all people (v14).  You can return back to work filled with joy not just after Christmas and the holidays, but on Mondays and on any day of the week knowing Jesus Christ was born. And because he was born, died and rose again, salvation is available to all who trust in him.  Jesus appeared to shepherds tending sheep, and He can show up on our jobs, even at school, on any day at any time in answer to prayer. He is Jehovah Shammah, the Lord who is present.  His name is Jesus, the hope of the world (Matt. 12:21).  His name is Immanuel, God with us (Matt. 1:23)   His name is Jesus, the One who saves his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21)!  Jesus saves!


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