At the Christmas party, I was honored with a special hardhat and a $1000 travel voucher, for ten years of continuous service. I had no idea I was getting it, so the blessing was especially sweet. In the Bible, wise men from the East came to honor Jesus, bringing Him gifts. These men watched and studied the skies and knew from the lineup of the planets and stars, that a great king had been born, a king worthy of honor. “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11).
The shepherds honored the baby Jesus in a different way. They were “abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). The angel of the Lord came and told them that they were in the right place at the right time and it was to them that this blessing had come.
How often are we going about our normal routines, endeavoring to do God’s will the best we can, and all of a sudden we meet someone new who really blesses our lives? Or we’re inspired to get in a certain grocery line and end up blessing a total stranger? We end up in the right place at the right time to either be blessed or be a blessing. Hebrews 13:2 even tells us we should “be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
That’s what happened to the shepherds. They were in the hills by Bethlehem and that’s where God wanted them. The angel of God found them and told them the good news. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2: 9-11).
This event brought “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (v.14). The shepherds went down into the city of Bethlehem to witness this for themselves.
The Bible doesn’t say anything about them honoring Jesus with physical gifts like the wise men did later on, but the shepherds honored Jesus by telling people what the angel told them and what they actually witnessed themselves. That’s how they honored God—by telling other people about the great things God did and was doing even now.
“And when they [the shepherds] had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them” (vv. 17,18 and 20).
Gift-giving originated with God. Right after God created Adam, He gave him a gift. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2: 8-9).
The idea of honoring God and others came straight from our creator and has happily invaded all cultures of the world.
This Christmas let’s think about honoring each with our gifts and our respect. And most of all, let’s give some special attention to how we can honor God and our Savior, Christ the Lord.
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