The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all
they had heard and seen.
Some friends and I tossed this question around recently: What time in history would you most like to visit, and what would you like to take with you? I think one of the best answers was (a) the first Christmas night and (b) a voice recorder.
There are two praise choruses that would make wonderful recordings. First, there’s the chorus of the angels in verse 14. Second, there’s the shepherds’ chorus mentioned in verse 20. They praised God after hearing the first chorus and seeing the baby whose birth inspired the angels’ song.
We don’t have the words of the shepherds’ praises, but we can imagine their joyful return to the fields that night. Just picture the sound of young people today who have seen their high school sports team win the championship against their greatest rivals. Echo that sound across the fields of Bethlehem, redirect it toward God, and it would be something like the shepherd’s praise!
Psalm 149:1-4 captures it too: “Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their king. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.”
Father, our imaginations are often fired up over things that aren’t worthy of our praise. Shape us so that, like the shepherds, we are excited about your deeds. In Jesus, Amen.
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