Christmas Afterglow

Christmas Afterglow

Luke 2:8-20 (King James Version)

 

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Afterglow is the comfortable, soothing feeling following a pleasant experience. A lingering impression of past successes. The past few weeks have been hectic, so much to do. Now it is finally over. Let us take a moment to reflect in the afterglow. Mountaintop experiences have a way of not lasting. However, they are necessary and beneficial. Luke recounts a hilltop experience of the shepherds, can you imagine when it was over they were stunned.

Now that Christmas is over:

1) Let us do as the shepherds did, verify the message in our experience.

We have heard the reason for His glorious coming, to ring joy, peace and new life. Now it is time to confirm or deny it. If the Gospel message makes no difference in your life, then the Bethlehem story is worthless. When Nathaniel was invited to meet Jesus there was an interesting exchange between Phillip and Nathaniel in John chapter one. When Nathaniel heard Jesus was from Nazareth, he said abruptly, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Phillip exclaimed, “Come and see.”

Friend, every test you submit Him He will pass: Can He really bring joy and happiness in life? “come and see”; Can He really solve problems at home, at work? “come and see”; Can He really tell me what I should do in life? “Come and see.”

2) Now you can think, ponder and meditate. (vv18-19)

You have not been able to do that the last few weeks. “Angels are gone” now you can focus on the implications and ramifications of what His coming means to your life.

3) Propagate it. (v17)

The shepherds never got over this experience. They did not have to make up a story, they simply told what they had seen, heard, felt, and knew. Friends, regular business can wait, our response to the message of Christmas requires an immediate response. The Christian message has halted the inevitable march of the world to destruction. The destruction of the world  today depends on a Spiritual and moral awakening which fails to awaken. The antediluvian world is an example of how close our world has come to the end.

I pray the Lord will let each of you experience a fuller better life.

Mike Stokes

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