Christmas Response

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:8-11)

Shepherds and coaches have a number of similarities. Being a shepherd took hard work if they were to lead their flock well. Coaching takes hard work if you want to lead your team well. Shepherds had to be tough since they endured the elements and threats to their flock. Coaching requires toughness as you endure obstacles and criticism. Shepherds were usually underpaid and underappreciated. Same with many coaches.

Do you share another similarity with shepherds, Coach – specifically, with how the shepherds in Luke 2 respond to the announcement of the birth of Jesus? Consider what the angel is saying. This baby born in the town of David, which is Bethlehem, is the Savior: the one who has come to rescue us from the separation from God caused by our sin. This baby is the Christ: the one anointed by God to deliver us from the dominion of darkness and bring us into his kingdom. This baby is the Lord: the one who reigns as the true King and whose kingdom will never end.

How do the shepherds respond to these amazing claims about who Jesus, the baby born in Bethlehem, is? As we continue to read in Luke 2, we see them doing three things: they investigate, communicate, and celebrate. Coach, as you walk through this Christmas season, consider responding to Jesus in a similar way:

1. Investigate – After hearing the incredible pronouncements by the angel about Jesus, the shepherds say, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened” (v. 15). They then “hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby” (v. 16). Because of the claims made about the identity of Jesus, he’s not someone we can respond to with apathy. If these claims are true, Jesus changes everything: our life, our world, our eternity. Because of this, it’s worth seriously investigating who Jesus is, what he says to us, and what he’s done for us.

2. Communicate – Here’s what the shepherds do next: “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child” (v. 17). News about the arrival of the One who is Savior, Christ, and Lord is something that everyone needs to hear! If through your investigation of Jesus you’ve come to faith in who he is and what he’s done, are you now communicating this good news with others? Who in your sphere of influence needs to hear about Jesus this Christmas?

3. Celebrate – Luke 2:20 says, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” The God who loves us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to rescue us and bring us into his kingdom is worthy of our praise and adoration! Who Jesus is and the salvation and life he brings us is worth celebrating! Make this Christmas a season of celebration as you consider again what the birth of Jesus means.

Coach, may you experience in fresh ways the truth that the arrival of Jesus is “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Have a wonderful Christmas!

For reflection: What next steps can you take to investigate, communicate, and celebrate the coming of the Savior Jesus, who is Christ the Lord? Prayerfully commit to taking these steps. Ask the Lord to enable you to experience in fresh ways what Jesus’ arrival means.