Pause

Softly now. Softly. Walk with care; handle the stuff of life with gentle hands.

Settle slowly into your chair and seek the stillness. The child has come and your heart is warmed now that you see him.

Softly now. Softly he comes. Handle the stuff of eternity with the gentlest of hands.

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Listen

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:15-20

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Think

The first group of people to receive the news of the Christ child’s birth were shepherds, the dirt-covered caretakers of smelly sheep. Chosen over priests and kings, the shepherds — who had farm smarts but little to no wealth and education — were also the first to visit the baby.

Their retelling of the encounter with the multitude of angels makes Mary’s heart soar and amazes all who hear. The plain, ordinary shepherds were the perfect inaugural spokesmen for an extraordinary event.

Even now, God chooses us, despite our status in life, to tell the Christmas story. How have you encountered the birth of the Christ child this week or this season of Advent and Christmas? How might you retell to others what you’ve seen and heard of that experience?

How might you glorify and praise God for what you’ve witnessed?

Andy Acton

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Pray

God, I have seen your presence in my life and world. May I treasure those moments and ponder those experiences in my heart forever. Amen.

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Go

Eternity has whispered your name
And so you have waited,
Waited with great anticipation
While preparing yourself for the coming of God's great gift.

Now the gift is here.
Waiting is over.
The anticipated arrival has come to pass
And your preparation is accomplished.

Go now in the blessed peace of Immanuel. God is with us!

Andy Acton

Andy Acton is the associate pastor for youth and mission and outreach at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth, Georgia. Andy lives with his wife Elizabeth, their 5-year-old daughter Katie, their newborn son Davis, his mother-in-law, two Labradors, and a cat.

Rejoice

Jim Morgan

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