Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 2:15-20
This week Tuskawilla UMC welcomes two special guests in worship leadership. Rev. Anne Bachmann will share her sermon entitled “A Change of Heart” and Mrs. Jane Warren (my amazing mother!) will share her love and gift of music through accompanying our service. Thank you, Anne and Jane for serving with us and serving us this Sunday.
In our Scripture text for both Christmas Eve and Sunday morning we read about the shepherds’ activity before, during, and after their encounter with the Christ child. First, the shepherds receive the angels’ proclamation about Jesus’ birth. Second, they seek him. Third, they worship at his cradle. And then fourth, they return to the world to tell everyone about what they experienced.
Go. Tell. Over the hills and everywhere.
As I think of my own practices and behaviors around Christmastime, I find that I am really proficient at three parts of the shepherds’ activity. (1) I receive the invitation to worship our Jesus on Christmas Eve. (2) I prepare myself to worship and draw nearer to his nativity through the season of Advent. (3) I worship on Christmas Eve. And then (4) I typically put my Christmas experience to bed just as Mary helped Jesus in laying down his head.
Thinking back on my Christmas Day conversations, they seldom include any mention of our Savior’s birth. I confess that they absolutely contain deep sighs that express Oh thank you, Lord, that’s over till next year!
Paging: Missed Out, Party of Sarah.
The shepherds were told to “Go” by the angels, and in response to their go-ing, they shared their witness of Christ with joy and excitement. I excel at the go-ing and it appears my Christmas growing edge is the telling.
I receive this invitation to grow in the telling. I need to break out of my habit of laying down my Christmas joy as soon as we finish singing Silent Night. Each year that I celebrate Christmas I experience something anew; a learning, a hymn, a revelation resonates at a new or deeper level. These learnings, hymns, and revelations – they are what the shepherds shared. I doubt it was polished…I doubt it was in complete sentences. What matters is that they shared – with joy and boldness – and these meek shepherds were instrumental in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the lands.
We are invited this week to go (to come), to worship at Jesus’ manger. And we are invited to tell, to share this Good News – the Good News of Jesus Christ. Do not find yourself saying “Oops” like I have. Do not miss out on the opportunity to tell someone – or lots of someones – about what you experienced at the manger this Christmas. Share with me. Share with a loved one. Share with God. And, by all means, share with someone that can benefit from hearing Jesus’ Good News.
Go and tell, my friends. Go and tell.
Prayer: “Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born. Down in a lowly manger the humble Christ was born and God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn. Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”* Amen.
*”Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” The United Methodist Hymnal 251.