The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Last year, when I was in America, I visited Niagara Falls. In fact, I actually visited Niagara Falls twice – once on a holiday to New York with my friend Clive, and once on a holiday to Canada with my fiancee Claire! It was one of the most incredible places I have ever visited. When I arrived in the US town of Niagara Falls late one evening, I did wonder what all the fuss was about, as the town itself is not very nice. The next day, however, when we saw the Falls themselves, they took my breath away. The sight of so much water thundering over the edge of the cliff, coupled with the stunning scenery and the fast flowing Niagara River is simply awe inspiring. Everytime I have the opportunity to tell people about Niagara Falls, I have done just that. Indeed, that’s what I’m doing now!
Sometimes, you witness things that simply amaze you. The Niagara Falls amazed me. The sight of the new born Jesus must have been such a sight. I’m sure the shepherds could not wait to tell everyone what they had seen! Luke records that their number one priority, however, is not rushing out to tell everyone about what they had seen, but “glorifying and praising God” for the things that they had seen. They recognised the significance of the miracle that they had seen, and the generosity of God in sending his son. Not only that, but they were amazed because everything was exactly as they had been told by the angels, which must have seemed impossible when they had been told!
We often marvel at things that we see or hear. I’m sure that you can think of something which took your breath away recently. How often do we do as the shepherds did, however, and praise God for the amazing things that he has created for us and done for us? Have we glorified God this Christmas as we celebrated Christ’s birth? Do we give thanks for the ways that God works in our lives? Do we praise God for the wonders of his creation that we encounter every day? I know for me the answer to these questions is often ‘no’.
Maybe we should all aim to be a bit more like the shepherds.