Lessons Learned from Those Who Observed the Birth of Christ
“And there were shepherds living out in the field nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night,” reads Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Every year we hear the words of the Christmas story spoken at church services, see them reenacted in a children’s pageant and may even speak them ourselves while singing along with our favorite Christmas carols. But, the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus is more than just words; it’s a story about real people who were significantly impacted that evening. Taking a closer look at the story, we can learn some lessons to enact in our own lives this Christmas.
The Lesson Learned from Joseph is to Honor Others.
Early on in the Christmas story, Joseph has to make a decision. Learning that his bride-to-be was already pregnant, he was going to divorce her quietly. He had every right to make a big deal of her condition, but being a just man, he wanted to do the honorable action. In the end, he decided to marry her and became the earthly father of our Savior, Joseph’s ability to honor Mary demonstrates incredible character.
There are plenty of people in our community who are in less-than-desirable situations. They may have the reputation of being a “player” or “easy.” They may be overweight or too intelligent for their own good. They may be involved in the wrong crowd, caught doing drugs or known as being the partier who drinks too much. Regardless of their circumstances, we can honor them as individuals whom God loves. They need Christ’s love to help them find resolution in their lives, so be the instigator and give them respect.
The Lesson Learned from Mary is to Embrace.
One of the most beautiful scriptures is Luke 2:19, which says, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Mary embraced the newborn baby, she embraced the shepherds’ visit, she embraced the various strangers coming to praise and glorify her son. She couldn’t take pictures to remember the moment; instead she had to soak up every tiny detail.
Sometimes we need to spend more time focusing on the incredible things that surround us rather than taking another Selfie. And, sometimes we need to be still and contemplate – even if only for a moment – our magnificent Lord and Savior.
The Lesson Learned from the Angels is to Tell.
Luke 2:9-15 gives the account of the angels’ visit to the shepherds. Being messengers of the Lord, angels are charged with speaking of God’s incredible plan. They are bold and bright in their sharing. They do not hide or apologize.
Not only are we responsible for sharing Christ with others, we can do so with courage and favor.
The Lesson Learned from the Shepherds is to Believe.
After their visit from the angels, the shepherds didn’t sit around contemplating what just happened. Instead, they said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.” (Luke 2:15) Then they “hurried off” to find Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
When we know that Jesus is our Lord, there is no reason to Google the subject further. Instead, we must have faith and actively believe the truth.
The Lesson Learned from the Wise Men is to Obey.
In Matthew 2, we read about the Wise Men seeking out the star that rose above Bethlehem. On their journey they encountered King Herod who sent them out to discover the King of the Jews. After arriving in Bethlehem, an angel directed them not to return to King Herod. The Wise Men followed the star, obeyed King Herod and trusted the angel.
God guides and speaks to us in a variety of ways. We should be strong and willing to obey His calling.
The Lesson Learned from Jesus is to Realize.
Yes, we can actually learn a lesson from Jesus, even though He was just a baby. He understood and realized His position as savior from birth. He didn’t pretend to be someone else. He didn’t change who He was so He could fit in. No, He realized who He is.
As young, beautiful women, we need to understand and know who we are. We need to embrace our purpose and our calling. We need to show our unique and genuine beauty. There’s no need to hide or change our identity. We know who we are in Christ, and we should act like the person God made us to be.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.