One final thought about living out an All-Of-The-Year-Giving-Spirit (AOTYGS):
After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished.
It was the night of the first Christmas and out on the field shepherds slept soundly until an angel appeared in the sky above. Floating up above them (without guidewires like Rihanna at the Super Bowl) this angel declared, “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” He then told them of the arrival of Jesus. The world’s Messiah and Savior was living on earth in the person of a baby. Then the soloist angel, was joined by the rest of the angel band, and together they filled the sky with a song of glory to God arrival on earth. When the chorus finished their song, they headed back home to heaven.
The shepherds look at each other and say, “Let’s go check out this amazing angel story.”
So, they hurried to Bethlehem. They found Mary, Joseph and the world’s Messiah and Savior.
And they were filled with joy at seeing God’s greatest gift to humanity: Jesus, the Christ.
But then they did something most of don’t do on Christmas. They shared their gift with everyone they met.
They went and told everyone they could meet about their discovery of God in human form.
People’s reaction to their news: Astonishment!
When they were finished sharing this amazing encounter with others, the shepherds headed back to tending sheep. Luke records that as they traveled home the shepherds went “glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard.”
Discovering Jesus brings great joy. There is equal joy in helping others to discover Jesus.
Christians on mission know this double joy. The joy of discovering Jesus and the joy of sharing Him with others. In fact, they will even travel to distant lands to freely give the gift of Jesus, since they freely received grace and truth from Him.
You and I don’t have to travel to distant countries to discover this double joy. We can have it all year if we will not just receive the gift of Jesus, but we give it away to others. The joy the angels predicted can be ours as well.