When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
Luke 2: 15-16
One of the things that hope does to us is give us the strength and the energy to respond. The shepherds had the most amazing, terrifying, overwhelming experience, thousands of angels appearing to them, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, and delivering the news of Jesus’ birth to them, in person, and to no one else! It must have been mind blowing. They were in total shock. Nothing like this had ever happened before.
The whole experience gave them hope: hope that they were not forgotten; hope that God is real and was coming to rescue them; hope that a better future was coming. But they did not just sit there and wait for things to unfold, they got up and “hurried off” down to Bethlehem. They didn’t know exactly where Jesus would be, they had no idea what they would find when they got there. How could they even really be sure this was all real? But the encounter with the angels gave them such hope and expectation that they simply had to get down there and see for themselves. They left their sheep, they took a risk, they stepped out in faith. They responded.
I remember when I first heard about my current job. I remember the phone call, ‘Hi Will, a few of us have been thinking about starting a new church here in Mid Sussex, how about coming down to be the vicar?’ That phone call planted a seed of hope in me. I was quite low at the time. I had been looking for a job for ages. Suddenly I had new energy. I started to dream about what might be, to plan how to start this new project, to think about who to talk to. I prayed. I made phone calls. I arranged meetings. Within a few months everything was in place: the team was assembled, the funding was promised, the Bishop was on board, the house was bought, the children had school places, we were ready to go!
Jesus gives us hope! No matter how bad things look, now matter how many setbacks we face, the Prince of Peace promises to make everything right in the end for all who respond to Him. We have a hope that will not disappoint us. But we have to respond. If you just sit on the hillside and ignore the angels, nothing is going to change.
Will loves Caroline, the most beautiful, wise, kind, caring woman in the world, and their three amazing sons, Jonny, Lukas and Joshua. Will also loves Watford FC, BBC Sport, playing cricket, golf, squash, snooker etc, Michael Jackson, Corduroy (what ever happened to them?), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Bourne, Bond, and real ale. He is Vicar of The Point, Anglican Network Church for Mid Sussex.
Daily ShareHope gives you the energy to respond! Is there something you have been meaning to respond to but have been putting off? A difficult phone call? A bill to pay? A job that needs doing? A new project that needs starting? An invitation waiting for an answer? Do it today! Chose to see the situation with fresh hope, then respond.