Awe & Wonder
Christmas always creates for me an atmosphere of awe and
The miracle of that first Christmas still continues to grip
my imagination and stir my emotions. It was a HOLY night as the Christ child
made his entrance into the world bringing peace, love, joy and hope. What an
entrance it was!
Who does God announce the birth of his Son to? Who does he
invite to come and see the new baby? A bunch of uneducated, smelly, low class,
social and religious outcasts - despised shepherds scattered on the hillside of
Bethlehem looking after their sheep.
Shepherds were poor, they were not in a position that would
set the world on fire and they were known as a class of people that could not
be trusted. Yet it was to them that God announced the arrival of his Son.
You would expect an event like the birth of Christ to be
announced to the most important people of the nation. That was not God's plan.
He wanted to show that his love does not discriminate on the basis of class,
wealth or social standing. Jesus was not coming to be the Saviour of only kings
and governors and priests but to be the Saviour for the whole world. His love
is offered indiscriminately to anyone who will believe and trust in him as
Saviour. That is the message we celebrate!
The shepherds played such a significant and influential role
in the Christmas story. They are the perfect role models for us to emulate as
we celebrate the birth of Christ. Can we even comprehend the reaction of these
shepherds when the angel of the Lord appeared and the glory of the Lord shone
around them? I am inspired and motivated once again in their response to what
they heard and saw.
The shepherds BELIEVED what the angel had told them. While
they were being attentive to the responsibilities given to them as shepherds,
they were suddenly enthralled by the angelic announcement. Filled with awe they
accepted this message of good news of great joy. (Luke 2:9-15)
The shepherds ACTED on the message received. They didn't
just believe and enjoy the message given to them, they acted upon it. They
wanted to see with their own eyes what they had been told. So they left their
sheep and made the journey to find the Christ child. (Luke 2:15-16)
The shepherds PROCLAIMED the good news! When they had found
him, they ‘spread the word' concerning what had been told them about this
child. They didn't hang around the manger because they knew that they were now
proclaimers of the gospel message. They came to him, adored him and then they
moved out to herald the good news. It was now their responsibility to ‘Go and
Let us do the same, especially at this time of the year, for
the all who are still waiting to hear the good news!
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all
the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.'
(Luke 2:20) The shepherds filled, with JOY, returned to their sheep and their
responsibilities but their lives would never be the same again.
May our celebration this Christmas be a life changing,
Commissioner Silvia Cox joins me in sending you Christmas
Commissioner Rosalie Peddle
World Secretary for Women's Ministries
March 4, 2016 is the next World Day of Prayer prepared by women of Cuba with the theme, "Receive Children, Receive Me."
See our missions projects for this year.
Revive is is The Salvation Army's international women's magazine.