Advent Devotional: Experience the Joy

Scripture: Luke 2:8-20

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about”
(Luke 2:15).

Try to imagine yourself as one of the shepherds in the field that night. Going about your business shepherding sheep, you suddenly are blinded by the glory of the Lord and an angel not only appears to you but speaks: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). Christ the Lord is here! The Anointed One is no longer someone they are hoping for but here and now, in the flesh, the baby Jesus in a manger.

The shepherds’ initial reaction to the appearance of the angel is simply stated: “they were terrified.” But after the angels had left and things were “back to normal” in the fields, they came to their senses and decided hearing was not enough. They wanted to know the Savior of the world. The good news of great joy was here and now in Bethlehem. “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

At Christmas, we hear the story, sing the songs, gather with family, and exchange gifts as a way to celebrate His birth. But when was the last time you were a shepherd and went to Bethlehem to see Him yourself? Have you ever got all alone on Christmas Eve, quieted your spirit, and simply looked into the manger? Imagine no one else is present, just you and baby Jesus. Take in the simplicity and majesty of the Savior.

This Christmas go to Bethlehem and see Him for yourself. Experience the joy of knowing Jesus as your Savior.

Larry and Jan Winkleman moved to Nicholasville Thanksgiving weekend 2013 and began attending WFMC. They have three children and four grandchildren.