After the shepherds heard an angel of the Lord announcing the Messiah’s birth and the multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, they went straight to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough (Luke 2:8–20). The shepherds story amazed everyone. It was the first Nativity.
When the shepherds returned to their flocks they glorified and praised God for all they had seen (Luke 2:20).
In the news, a priest in Milan Italy, decided not to set up the annual Nativity scene because it was within eyesight of those who might get offended. That’s quite a contrast from the shepherds’ response. Sadly, many Nativity sets have been taken down in recent years, and few people will even say the words “Merry Christmas,” for fear of offending someone or being sued, or worse. I can’t even find a Nativity set at Home Depot; just Santa and snow balls.
Fortunately, one of the local Italian leaders said, “We cannot give up our culture and traditions. We will have a Nativity!”
Our response to the few Nativity scenes we might see this Christmas should be the same as the shepherds’. We too should glorify and praise God for the great work He has done in our lives. We shouldn’t be able to help it. Glory and praise naturally spills out of a soul that God has touched with salvation through the One who laid in that trough.
If you see one, find out who put that Nativity up there and thank them for their courage and faith. Be like the brave Italian, set up a Nativity scene or say “Merry Christmas” to people.
The angel told Joseph to name the child Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Christmas is all about letting people know that, and yes, some will get offended; but we should praise Him from the inside out.
Dr. Rob Oberto is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God: Extraordinary miracles that opened a skeptic’s heart to God” available from Amazon.
©2017 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.