Not just for Christmas…

“And so it was accomplished, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:6-14

So often, this scripture seems to be reserved for the time of year when we celebrate Christmas, and that is a wonderful time to settle our minds on the glory and wonder of the blessed arrival of our Lord, yet we can bring this passage to remembrance anytime and find so much goodness, purity, and hope!

I love thinking about those shepherds, of lowly estate, doing their common and ordinary work of watching over their flock by night, and then receiving the unexpected visit from an angel of the Lord, Most High! Can you even begin to imagine? Oh, I just love it, that God looks upon us all as His blessed creation and doesn’t withhold any good thing from us based on our position in this world. The richness of His goodness cannot be adequately described in words, but must be experienced by the heart and pondered in awe and reverence within the soul.

I love it that the angel spoke to the shepherds the comforting words, “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.” The natural inclination for the shepherds and for us is to fear when we find ourselves in the presence of a heavenly messenger, but the purpose of the message was to bring the opposite of fear, to bring good tidings of great joy to who? To all people…blessed, blessed, blessed is what we are!

I was thinking just this morning how we can choose to think on good things or on troublesome things. Philippians 4:8, one of my favorite scriptures, tells us to think on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. Surely the words penned in Luke 2 meet this beautiful criteria for what we will be blessed to think about and what will give honor to God. My recent prayer has been, “Lord fill us up so completely with Your goodness that we overflow and bless those around us.”

I’m encouraged again after pondering and reading about the entrance of baby Jesus into a world in such great need of peace and hope. He surely is our blessed hope. We are to encourage each other by bringing to remembrance the promise of peace Jesus’ birth brought to the world.

Loving thoughts are ever present in my mind as I focus my attention on the good tidings of great joy that was given to all people, and my prayers are asked on behalf of all who suffer in the world.

Wishing everyone a day of peace.

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