Focal passage: Luke 2:4-19
In October 1864 the Confederate ship CSS Shenandoah was deployed to raid Union commerce ships in the Pacific Ocean. Under the command of Captain James Waddell, the Shenandoah made the months-long journey to the Bering Sea near Alaska. Upon arrival, the Shenandoah spent the entire summer of 1865 harassing whaling fleets. In total, they destroyed 32 ships and captured over 1,000 prisoners.
By most accounts the mission seemed to be successful. The only problem was that the Confederacy had surrendered earlier that year. It wasn’t until a British ship captain revealed to Waddell and his crew the news of the Confederacy’s demise three months before.
News of Jesus’ birth wasn’t slow to spread. Not long after the Messiah had been tightly swaddled and laid in a manger did the angels appeared to frightened shepherds. An angel proclaimed, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
This news changed everything for them. In fact, verse 16 says that they “hurried off” to find Mary and Joseph. Such was the account of their news that Mary decided to treasure all these things in her heart. All who were present understood the magnitude of what they had witnessed, and their lives would never be the same.
Does your life look any different than it did before you heard this good news? Do you still look with awe, as the shepherds did, at the coming of Christ? Or, like the crew of the Shenandoah, do you live as if the good news of Jesus had never reached your ears?
Sometimes our goals and worries look very similar to the world around us. We’re concerned about our retirements, who our elected officials are, and whether we’ll get our shopping done in time for Christmas. The news of the angel hardly seems relevant.
As believers, our lives should look different because Jesus came. In spite of everything going on around us, we can have hope. Like Mary, learn to treasure these things in your heart. When you do, you may find yourself, like the shepherds, “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard” (Luke 2:20).