My favorite sentence in Luke’s Christmas account comes right at the end in chapter 2 verse 20. “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they has heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
I put those last words in bold and italics to make them stand out. Read that verse again out loud and listen to those last words again. They’re my favorite words of the whole Christmas account because they remind me of God’s faithfulness.
God is faithful to His word. He sent the angels to tell the shepherds to look for the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Shepherds were fully aware what a manger was, and were probably surprised to be told to go look for a baby in one. A feed trough is not the typical place to find a kid, but that is just what they found. EXACTLY as they had been told.
That’s not unusual for God. He often tells people what’s going to happen ahead of time. And, every time, people find things EXACTLY as they’ve been told. The disciples are told that they’ll find a guy with a water jar, and they are to follow him to make preparations for the Passover during Holy week. It happened. They were told to throw the fishing net on the other side of the boat and they’d catch fish. They did. They are told that Jesus would die and rise three days later. He did.
It’s like Jesus actually knows the future, or something! He does. He knows the future, and has told us what we’re going to see in the future too. He tells the disciples, and you, that he has gone into heaven ahead of us to prepare a place for us, and if He goes to make the place ready he’ll come back and take us to be with him so that we can be with him (John 14) I can’t wait for those words to come true. One day we’ll see it and hear it with our own eyes and we’ll proclaim with the shepherds, “this is JUST as we’ve been told!”
Dear Jesus, Your show your faithfulness by keeping your word. Help us hold tightly to your promises and look forward joyfully to life in heaven with You! Amen.