December 17: Prepare (Advent Devotional 2014)

Luke 2:15-16 When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.


On this journey to Bethlehem, we have just encountered the angels (as the shepherds did). Here’s something to think about, “how do you respond after hearing from God?”

I believe the tendency could be to try to stay right there and internalize it so we could make sense of it. This way when we do tell our friends and those we encounter, we’ll be able to fully explain what we saw and what we heard and we’ll have researched the event and words enough to be able to explain it so our hearers would understand.

What I find interesting is that the text does not say how long the shepherds waited before hey went; but they did go “quickly.” I believe this should be our reaction and response too. God does not ask us to have everything figured out before we step out in faith; he just wants us to step out in faith, trusting him.

Another point this brings up is what to do after we hear from God. Our community (family, friends, trusted acquaintances, etc) is there to be a sounding board so we can have people to confirm/affirm/or maybe even give a new twist on what we heard. We should find ways to confirm what God has spoken. How that looks for you maybe different than me. I personally talk with trusted people to discuss what I felt God say, then we work together to continue listening for God, as we are moving in the direction sensed.

So when you hear from God our challenge is to keep the excitement and move “quickly,” bringing people along with us (the shepherds went as a community) to do the work God calls us to, or even what God calls us to see.

God, you speak to us. Help us hear with excitement what you say and move quickly to where you call us. Also, Lord, guide us to the people you want us to share this calling with. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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