December 18, 2021

‘How Great Our Joy’

Luke 2:15-20

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

—  Luke 2:20

“How Great Our Joy” is a traditional German carol that retells the story of Jesus’ birth from the perspective of the shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem.

The shepherds had a unique encounter with angels, who appeared in a burst of light to announce the birth of the Savior. And when the angels left, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.”

In Bethlehem they found the baby Jesus, lying in a manger. And after spreading the word about the angels’ message and what had happened to them, the shepherds returned to their flocks, “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen. . . .” This was after one encounter with Jesus.

How do we respond when we encounter the living Lord? Are our hearts filled with so much joy that we cannot help glorifying and praising God?

We celebrate the birth of our Savior and King on Christmas. We know that Jesus came to rescue us from sin and death. Are our hearts filled with joy like that of the shepherds when they encountered Jesus?

By the power of God, our lives can be transformed by coming to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And as we grow in our faith in Christ, may we continue to be filled with joy like the shepherds on that amazing night.

Lord, at your birth, we are filled with joy. May our hearts and lives overflow with unceasing praise! Amen.

About the author — Brian Kuyper

Brian Kuyper is the lead pastor at a church in Taber, Alberta. He has served in two congregations in southern Alberta over the past 12 years. He is married to Brenda, and they have three school-age children.

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