15So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
The angels had gone, the heavenly singing was over, and now the shepherds had to decide what to do. It didn’t take them long. They had no doubts, for they were going to see “this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord made known to us,” but they desired to see for themselves nonetheless. It isn’t enough to hear about Jesus. Our religion teaches us that we must each come to Him ourselves. This we do as we join with one another each Lord’s Day and partake of His Word and sacrament with the same faith as the shepherds. There, we are also lifted up with the singing of the saints joined with the angels themselves in worship before Jesus Who, no longer a Babe, sits as our Resurrected Savior at the right hand of God the Father.
Making haste, they came to Mary and Joseph. There, they certainly shared stories of their visions and encounters, strengthening one another’s faith over this wonderful event. And this is what we do as well when we gather together as a family or when we gather together as a church, encouraging one another with our stories of how God has met us, changed us, and fitted us for service in His kingdom.
—Pastor Dave Hatcher, Trinity Church, Woodinville, Washington
Heavenly Father, we thank You for all the ways in which You encourage us and build us up in our faith, including this time of singing, reading Your Word and discussing Your work in our lives together. And we thank You for summoning us together each Lord’s Day to do the same but with all the saints gathered together. Strengthen us again and let us strengthen one another for greater service to You for the sake of Jesus, in Whose name we pray, AMEN.
How might we do a better job of encouraging one another to “make haste” and come to Jesus each day? How might we do a better job of preparing ourselves and one another to “make haste” in our gathering on the Lord’s Day? Discuss the fact that kings were not first brought to Jesus, but rather ordinary people, even simple shepherds.