READ: Luke 2:1-20
THINK: Jesus birth was a big event. No doubt about it. Even though most people in the world overlook the significance of His earthly arrival, and others commercialize the holiday that celebrates His birth, it is still perhaps the most widely recognized event in history. But extraordinary as it was, Jesus birth was not glamorous. Certainly, there were spectacular elements–such as the angelic announcement–but the setting was crude and the people involved were profoundly common. Yet, that was all part of the life-changing message Jesus came to convey. That message is not just for the elite; it is for the ordinary person. In fact, Jesus came to serve the needy and help the hurting. His Good News is for all people. Anyone can receive it, and anyone can share it.
RESPOND: How do you think people viewed Joseph and Mary as they were expecting a child during their engagement (cf. v. 5)? How would this situation test their faith and character? What do the circumstances of Jesus’ birth reveal about God’s purpose and Jesus’ mission? (See 2:7 note.) For whom did He come into the world (cf. vv. 10-11)? What does the title “Christ” mean? (See 2:11 note.) What does it mean that Christ would be a Savior (cf. v. 11)? What is significant about the fact that Jesus’ birth was announced to shepherds? In what way is their response after seeing Jesus a lesson to all people who hear and receive Christ’s message? (See 2:17 note.)
PRAY: Express to Jesus how thankful you are that He came to be your Savior. Pray for the boldness to not worry about other people’s impressions of you as you fulfill God’s purposes. Ask Him to help you respond to His message as the shepherds did–with humility and unabashed joy–anxious to share the good news.
ACT: If there is any aspect or situation of your life in which you’ve been overly concerned with people’s impressions of you–particularly in regard to your faith–make a deliberate choice to change your attitude. Trust God for the strength of character to let your faith show. View yourself like the simple shepherds who first heard the message of Jesus and had no higher priority than to spread the word about what they had experienced.