Google+ 12/26/12 Now What?

Luke 2:20-21


The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

It was just as the angel had told them.


Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus,

The name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.  


The most comprehensive account of the birth of Jesus that the Bible gives us occurs in the gospel of Luke.  The gospel of John only mentions that "The Word becomes flesh" in its account of the birth of Jesus.  The gospel of Mark presents John the Baptist and the announcement of the coming of the Lord.  Finally, the gospel of Matthew skips from reporting the angel that visits Joseph, to the wise men arriving!  I have listed our Scripture today as an example of what we don't know.  The comprehensive account given to us by Luke, ends with the shepherds returning to work, praising God for all they had seen, as we discussed yesterday in our devotion.  The next time we hear about Jesus is eight days later.  What happened?  I think we only need to look at combined Scripture and our life experience to know what was transpiring during this time period.  Matthew 2:11 tells us that when the wise men arrive, Jesus is in a house.  We can only gather that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus have rented a house in Bethlehem and left the stable.  We also know that because of the warning of the wise men and the angel, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus eventually fled into Egypt to avoid the wrath of Herod, who orders all children two and under killed in Bethlehem.  We know that Jesus was presented in the temple, according to Old Testament Jewish law, honoring the fact that Jesus was also a son of Abraham as God had promised.  So what happened during those eight days?  When we have a baby, what happens?  Not in any particular order, we rest, we pray, we give thanksgiving to God for a safe and healthy birth, we visit the parents and hold the baby, we bring gifts, and we prepare for a new way of living with a brand new gift and challenge in our lives.  That pretty well covers it!  Remember, they had no "baby room" to prepare.  They had to get out of the stable, as those accommodations were temporary.  They were also outdoors, which would have been very hard on a new baby.  These details were probably not deemed important enough to record, particularly from Luke the physician.  After all, Luke had a pretty good handle on what happened after a child was born and so did God!  So, the lesson for us is simple.  Let's rest, pray, give thanksgiving to God for Jesus, hold Emmanuel in our loving arms, bring the King of Kings gifts, and prepare for a year filled with wonder because we have a "newborn" in our midst.  Yesterday, I led musical worship with my ministry partner on Christmas Day.  The most glorious thing that happened is that families were there with newborn babies.  As the morning progressed, we were blessed with the sanctuary being filled with the wonderful "baby sounds" as we celebrated the new lives among us.  My heart was so lifted up to God each time with each glorious "baby sound."  I was imagining what the manger must have been like because Jesus, I am sure, did not always "sleep in heavenly peace!"  Today, some of us will be sad that "Christmas" is over.  Not me.  It began yesterday and will last the whole year.  I don't know about you, but until Jesus comes to the temple, eight days from now, I know how to answer the question "Now What?"  I am going to enjoy His crying, sleeping, eating, smiling, and cooing.  After all, my Savior has been born for me in the form of a baby.  What could be better than that?