“All who heard it were amazed.” Lk 2:18 NIV
To fully appreciate the story of Christmas, you must look at three things: (1) Who God called to tell the story. Shepherds! In first-century Palestine they were considered to be the lowest in society. Yet God picked them to tell the greatest story. Perhaps that’s because some of us would have debated the story or even denied it. Not them: “They spread the word” (v. 17 NIV). This answers the question, “Could God use someone like me?” Yes, you don’t need to be a scholar. Just tell people what you’ve seen and heard, and the change Jesus has made in your life. (2) The response of those who heard the story. “All who heard it were amazed.” The grace of God is amazing: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2Co 5:19 NIV). The gospel is not good advice, it’s good news! Your sin debt is cancelled; your books are reconciled, and now you can have a personal relationship with God by putting your trust in Christ. It doesn’t get any better! (3) Mary’s part in the story. “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk 2:19 NIV). She wanted to understand what God was doing, and how it related to her. And you need to do that too. God doesn’t change, but He moves, and you have to stay in step with Him. There were many things Mary didn’t understand about God’s will, but she accepted and obeyed it. And that’s what God is asking of you too.