Urgent and Unrestrained

by Dec 18, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less and less spontaneous. I like plans. I like to know where I’m going, who’s going to be there, and where the exits are well in advance. I like being prepared and I don’t like surprises. Yeah, I’m the guy who shows up to the airport 5 hours before my flight. My younger self would be so bored with my current self.

In the Christmas story, we find a group of shepherds who are my kind of people. The plan for each day is fairly routine. That night, the shepherds are out in a field watching their flock as usual. Suddenly an angel appears to tell them “good news of great joy for all the people.” He tells them the Savior has been born and how to find Him. Then the shepherds leave quickly to find Jesus.

They don’t have a plan. Who will look after the sheep while they’re gone? Do they have the right outfit? Do they need to RSVP? What kind of gift do you bring to the Savior’s birthday party? I mean, what do you get the guy who made everything? If I was in the group of shepherds, I’d want to sit and process that whole angel encounter and I’d want to understand what’s going to happen next before going anywhere.

While I love plans, I love their sense of urgency more. Seeing the Savior was so important, there wasn’t time to plan. And their urgency led to spontaneous joy.

After finding Jesus, they returned to their field “glorifying and praising God.” Just as they couldn’t be restrained after what they had been told, their praises couldn’t be restrained after what they had seen.

Christmas comes the same time every year. We expect it. We plan for it. With all the shopping and lights, it may even feel like it’s something that happens to us rather than a story we enter into. But what if we entered Christmas the way the shepherds left? What if our praise was urgent and unrestrained? We might find a spontaneous joy we could never have planned for.

Read Luke 2:8-15

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