This story doesn’t end at the manger.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Luke 2:15-21
Nativity Scene | St. Ursula Basilica, Köln, Germany | December 2021

How long did it take your family to open their gifts on Christmas morning? Is it a free-for-all, or a structured and ordered, one-after-another process? Are there mounds and mounds of tissue, wrapping paper, empty gift bags, and ribbons still laying around? Or is your living room all cleaned up by now?

Are you sitting in the afterglow of the whole event? Did you go to ”the best service of the year?” For me, that’s Christmas day. The end of a long run, and a beautiful service of carols and the Christmas message, with a go-right-home-afterwards event. Ahhh… Sitting in the afterglow.

But the message of Christmas is not a one-and-done event. The story doesn’t stop at the manger. Shepherds will visit. They will worship and marvel. They will discover how the message of the angels was exactly right. Things were just as they had said.

This week, I’ll reflect on the visit of the shepherds, their marveling, and their trip away from the manger. I’ll also reflect on Mary’s treasuring and Jesus’ circumcision. Much to unpack here…

Let’s start with the shepherd’s visit and their discovery of everything ”just as it has been told them.” That has to do with more than a child in a manger. It has to do with the Good News of the birth of a Savior, Christ the Lord.

I am deeply thankful for this Savior, for I need him. And I am discovering more and more how true this is. I need a Savior. And Jesus is not just a savior. He is the Savior, Christ the Lord. He is no flash in the pan. He’s not a wannabe. He’s the Lord, God in the flesh. Savior. Messiah.

And he shall reign forever and ever. Oh how thankful I am for him! My faith in him will not be disappointed. It is not misplaced. It is solid as long as it is focused on him. Nothing can come between us. No one can preempt him.

Thanks be to God! Christ the Savior is born, and he shall reign forevermore, evermore!

Christmas Joy!

Alleluia Chorus from Handel’s Messiah
Chris Tomlin – He Shall Reign Forevermore and Evermore

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