In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth to Bethlehem because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Nearby were shepherds living out in the fields keeping watch over their flocks.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them saying, “Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.”
Then suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God saying. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men.”
When the angels left and gone into heaven, the shepherds said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.”
So they hurried and found Mary, Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all who heard it were amazed. Luke 2:1-18
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As I read this familiar passage something new captured my attention. It was something that I had read before but had never really noticed it until now. It was something small and simple. It was something somewhat hidden but yet in plain sight.
- It was not in the decree for a census.
- It was not in Joseph’s obedience to the law.
- It was not in a cloth blanket or the lowly location of our saviors’ birth.
- It was not in the visitation of an angel or the opening of the heavens.
- And it was not in the astonishment of the shepherds as they received words concerning the Christ.
What caught my attention was expressed in two simple and plain words,”they hurried.” They reacted, and in great haste. They reacted with hurried anticipation, hurried expectation, hurried amazement, hurried excitement, and they hurried to share the good news.
So it left me asking how will I celebrate this Christmas season? Can I, will I embrace it as the shepherds did over 2000 years ago with hurried excitement, hurried anticipation and amazement ? Or, will I address it with the hurried hustle and bustle that is often associated with this time of year?
Like most things, the choice is mine. I can either choose the shepherd hurriedness or what I like to call, the “Shepherd Effect” or I can choose the Donna hurriedness, likewise the “Donna Effect.”
Which ever one I choose will determine how I address Christmas and directly effect how I will share the ultimate gift. The gift that brings good news and tidings of great joy.