The story of Jesus’ birth is, perhaps, my favorite story from the Bible. Nativity scenes can only attempt to capture the beauty of a King of Kings born in a lowly manger. Our entire album, “Merry Christmas to You,” begins with the declaration of Linus, the beloved character from the Peanuts gang, about the true meaning of Christmas, the story of the shepherds and the birth of Jesus Christ. Many songs have been written about that night in Bethlehem, but as I read Luke chapter 2 again my mind was filled with questions. What would it really be like to be one of the shepherds that night? What did they talk about on their journey to see Jesus? What happened after they saw Jesus in the manger? Though some of those queries remain a mystery, I found that Luke had already answered my final question. “When [the shepherds] had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 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 2:17-20, NIV).
That’s it, the perfect response. The shepherds couldn’t keep their joy and wonder a secret. They ran through the town telling everyone about the awesome sight they had just witnessed. I can just picture the residents of Bethlehem opening up their windows, rubbing sleep from their eyes, and thinking the shepherds were crazy until they turned their gaze in awe upon that very same manger. After the shepherd’s declaration to the whole town, they returned to the side of their King and began to worship.
I want to have that response in my life. I want to have so much joy for Christ and the birth of love that I have to shout and stomp and clap and sing. That is the heart of “What a Glorious Night.” Picture yourself a terrified shepherd running to see the Savior of the world. How exhilarating, exciting and amazing your story would be. I’d tell everyone. That’s what I want to do with Jesus’ love, sing, stomp, clap, whisper, reflect and resonate. This Christmas let us remember the shepherds’ response to Christ, and let us celebrate with resounding joy the birth of our King! Have a very Merry Christmas and to all a goodnight.
Your dear friend,
I just bought a “never give up hope” sweatshirt yesterday at the concert in Galesburg, and the front pocket is sown crooked..
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