When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:15)
You know what you call a law student who graduates as valedictorian but never takes the bar exam? A college graduate, not a lawyer. You know what you call a student who graduates a nursing program but never takes the state nursing boards? Here is a hint, it’s not “nurse”. Ultimately hearing the Good News of Jesus and learning everything you could possibly know about Him means nothing if you never respond. Do you know what you call a med student who graduates medical school with a C minus average? Doctor. How we respond to Jesus is critical even if we feel unworthy or unprepared.
I can’t really imagine the shepherds after the angels burst into song on the quiet plains of Bethlehem. Hearing the heavenly choir, listening to the angelic proclamation, I’m sure this was by far the most exciting thing that ever happened to these men who aren’t even named in Scripture. I love how the shepherds respond: “Let’s go to Bethlehem!” Notice, they didn’t stop and analyze, plan, and execute. There is no indication that the shepherds went and took a bath or changed clothes, they were challenged with the best possible news any of us can hear and they responded.
Throughout the Gospels we see that when Jesus called people to follow Him they “immediately” left all they had and followed Him. How have you responded since Jesus called to you? Someone told you the Good News (or maybe you are hearing it for the first time), how are you going to respond? Are you going to try to wait to come to Jesus until you get it all figured out? Maybe you need to “clean up” some things first? If so… you’ve missed the entire point of why Jesus came. He came to seek and save the lost. He came to call the sinners to repentance. He came to save you… yeah, you.
As our hearts continue to turn towards Bethlehem, how is God calling you to “act”? The most beautiful type of worship is in spontaneous response to the Lord’s call. Although there are seasons God calls us to plan and pray, there are other moments He simply wants us to take that first step out on the water. You’ve heard the Greatest News you could ever hear… what are you going to do with it? Notice the shepherds didn’t just talk about going to Bethlehem and finding Jesus… they actually did it. They came… just as they were and experienced a life changing moment they told everyone about.
Father, thank you for the call to action. Thank You that You call us to a life of faith in action. Lord help us remember that we are forgiven through faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing. Yet always help us remember that You call us to a life full of love in action. Faith without works is dead. Help us not only hear and understand the Good News, but help us respond. Help us to worship and adore Your Son as we continue to remember the wonderful gift of salvation we have because of Jesus. In Jesus name we pray, amen.