Leaving the Stable

Read: Luke 2:15-21

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (v. 20)

The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem, found Mary and Joseph and the baby, made known the angelic announcement, and then, says Luke, they “returned.” Returned to what? A speaking tour about their experience? No, they returned to their sheep. The shepherds returned to their ordinary, ho-hum lives.

Joseph and Mary returned. “They returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth” (Luke 2:39). The wise men returned “to their own country” (Matt. 2:12). Even the angels returned to heaven. The point is, nobody stays in the stable. After Christmas, everyone returns to the ordinary.

Most of life is lived in the ordinary, and that’s where most of our walk with God takes place. Granted, there are mountaintop experiences in life, and there are valleys, and all of us get some of each. But most of life is spent not in the valley of crisis or on the mountaintop of victory, but in the ho-hum, flat terrain of ordinariness—making dinner, paying bills, changing diapers, eating and sleeping. So the question is, how does the miracle of Christ’s birth impact our ordinary time?

Christmas certainly had an impact on the shepherds. They returned, “glorifying and praising God” (Luke 2:20). Although they were humble shepherds, they understood that something holy had happened, life was different, they were different. How are you different in the afterglow of Christmas? —Lou Lotz

Today’s Activity: Think of one thing—a hope, a habit, a feeling—you want to take from this Christmas into your ordinary time.

About the Author

Lou Lotz

Rev. Lou Lotz is a recently retired Reformed Church pastor. Lou and his wife Mary Jean live in Hudsonville, Michigan.

This entry is part 26 of 26 in the series Waiting with Joy