The open bible for devotion

Devotion – December 2021

Good News and Praise

Luke 2:16–20 (NIV)

So they hurried off and found Mary and 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 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.

Have you ever had exciting news that you wanted to share with everyone, something you wanted to shout from the rooftops? The desire to share good news has become an industry all of its own. Many are looking for unique ways to celebrate engagements, pregnancies, gender reveals and other momentous occasions with loved ones and the wider world through social media. When we have something exciting happen to us, we want to share it!

The same was true of the shepherds at the time of Jesus’ birth. They had been minding their own business, watching their flocks during the night, when suddenly an angel appeared. The angel shared with them the news of the newborn Messiah. Before they could really comprehend this information though, the whole heavens were filled with angels, praising and worshipping God. What an incredible experience, in fact the scripture doesn’t mention anyone else receiving the news about Jesus in the same way. The shepherds, amazed and excited, could have run off then and told everyone what had happened to them. Instead, they decide to go and find the baby and see the Messiah for themselves. They then find him and have the amazing experience of being in the presence of God, in the baby Jesus.

I don’t know about you but, if this happened to me, I would want to tell everyone I knew. I would be on the phone, or probably social media, snapping photos and telling anyone who would listen to my incredible experience. The shepherds do share the good news of what they have been through however, they take their cue from the angels. The angels shared the news of Jesus birth with praises to God and the shepherds do the same. They didn’t seek fame or glory, being the first to be told the good news of the long-promised Messiah, instead they praised and glorified God for the amazing gift of his Son sent down to earth. My hope is that I might be like the shepherds. That I might seek out Jesus each day in my own life. To find the places where he is working and moving, and that I might praise God and glorify him with my life.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you left your heavenly home to be born as a baby here on earth. Thank you that you chose lowly shepherds to witness your birth. Help me to be like those shepherds, to seek you out and to share the good news of your life, death and resurrection with praise and thanksgiving. In your name I pray. Amen.

About the Author

Elise von Stanke

Hi, my name is Elise, and I am currently living in Newcastle, NSW. I am married to Mathew, who is the pastor at LifeWay Lutheran Church, Newcastle. We have three gorgeous children, Lily (10), Aaron (7), and Noah (3). I am a Primary School teacher, who loves music, making things with fabric, felt and wool and having conversations over coffee. I also love sharing the amazing news of Jesus’ love and hearing others share their experiences with me.

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