Read Luke 2:15-16. TEXT: ... 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" (Luke 2:15b).
For a brief moment, the shepherds had received a glimpse into our eternal future in heaven because of the coming of God's Son, Jesus Christ. Their fear was banished by God's Word; they basked in the glory of the Lord Himself, and listened to the praises of the heavenly host who surrounded them.
Now that moment has passed, and an even greater experience awaits. Now they rush off to Bethlehem to see with their own eyes the fulfillment of God's ancient promise: the promised Savior lying in the manger.
Were they disappointed when they entered that lowly animal shelter? The sight that met their eyes was certainly not as grand and glorious as what they had seen on the hillsides. There is the poor couple huddled together, and before them the simple Baby, lying swaddled in the feeding trough.
From time to time we glimpse the glories of heaven in our lives. There's a moment in the Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day service. There's the spiritual renewal at Communion, or any number of other experiences. But the wondrous experience of the shepherds is ours every day. The angels came for a brief and fleeting announcement, but Jesus Christ has come to stay.
It's just as plain and ordinary as our daily lives after December 25-after the Christmas decorations go back in their boxes and everything is put into storage. But Jesus is with us in His Word and Sacraments. They may seem plain, ordinary, everyday-but they are the means through which Jesus comes and remains with His people.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for remaining at our side through all the common, ordinary days of our lives, for strengthening us through Your Word and Sacraments, and guiding us to the glories of Your heavenly home. Amen.
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