Getting Ready to Receive, Day 16
Today’s post comes from my dad, Bradley Brown. My dad is the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Hershey, PA, aka “the sweetest place on earth.” While I never thought I would grow up to be a pastor like my dad, I could not be prouder to say that I have, and I am still, following in his footsteps. Enjoy!
Giving What We Receive
They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a manger. The shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angels had said. (Luke 2:16-20)
You can’t give that which you’ve never received or have in your possession to give. It’s a basic life principle, and it’s the story of the shepherds.
They were working the third shift the night Jesus was born; out in the fields; in the darkness. That alone says a lot about who these shepherds were and what was happening in their lives. That’s when it happened—an angel, an announcement, and then an awesome display by a host of Heaven’s best. I’ve often wondered what happened to the sheep. Did all the shepherds run to Bethlehem? Were there doubters among them who stayed behind? We’ll talk about that some other time. For now, let’s focus on the shepherds who Luke says responded to the angels’ unbelievable news of the birth of a Savior.
Luke tells us having received this angel’s news, the shepherds “ran to the village.” They gave it their all to find Mary and Joseph, but especially the baby—the Light of the World that shined in their darkness! Seeing Jesus, they weren’t silent. They gave their witness; that is they told their story to everyone who would listen— not only what they received from the angel but also what they discovered and believed for themselves about Jesus. Their lives were changed forever. And when they returned to their everyday life and work, they gave God their worship and praise. They gave what they received!
What about us? Where are we going and what are we doing because of what we’ve heard about Jesus and because of what we’ve received by grace through faith in him? Are we telling anyone our story—what we know and have experienced of God? Is the hope, peace and joy found only in Jesus the reason for our worship and praise?
God loved the world—including you and me—so much that HE gave us HIS only Son, so that whoever believes in might have life now and always.
God is generous in HIS giving. Made in God’s image, we are most like God when we give.
So what have you received? We can only give that which we have received.
Run to the manger. Share your faith’s story with someone today. Worship and give thanks to God for all you have received—a Savior who is Christ the Lord.