Well, it was quite a game, wasn't it? And even though Michigan did not win the game (and many of you have been kind enough to remind me of that important fact), I was thankful that it wasn't a lopsided game, and it lived up to the hype of being one of the great rivalries of all time. When I came to church on Saturday Night for worship, I had several conversations before and after about the game, and many were willing to share their opinion on whether the Michigan coach made the right call at the end to go for the win instead of a tie. It was a great game.
As I prepared to head home from church that night, my son called and asked me if I had just seen the end of the Alabama/Auburn game. Even though I had just gotten a scoring update on my phone (yes, I am fairly - some would say overly connected to my phone for information), I had not heard any of the details. My son filled me in on the unlikely ending of a very exciting game. When I got home, Lisa and I watched the highlights of the game. What a finish to that game - Alabama was ahead until the final minute of the game, and ended up loosing in the last second on a wild play. It was a great game! When I got to church on Sunday, I had many more conversations about BOTH games, and talk about who will play for the National Championship. Most of these conversations began with the question, "Did you see the games?"
I am going to make a bit of a stretch here, so stay with me if you will. I see some correlation between the conversations and the Christmas story we will hear in the coming days. The shepherds are in their fields, doing their job. They become witnesses of some incredible things - one angel, then an army of angels announcing the birth of the Messiah, and then the baby in a manger who is the one foretold by the heavenly host. These shepherds are witnesses to something incredible. They are then transformed into evangelists who go out and share the good news of what they have heard and seen.
From Luke 2 - selected verses (Revised Standard Version):
And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord....
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them... And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
When we see something incredible, wonderful, exciting or life-changing, it is hard to keep it to ourselves. We want to share the good news. We want others to experience what we have experienced. I can understand why those who watched the football games wanting to share with others. I can also understand why the shepherds were so willing to share what they had heard and seen.
The question is I have for you is how do you share the blessings of God, which at times can be incredible, wonderful, exciting or life-changing? What have you heard and seen? May we find opportunity to share the news with others, so they, too may come to know this One who comes to save us - Christ the Lord.