“The Road to Bethlehem” Advent devotion for December 17, 2021.
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.” (Luke 2:13-15)
The shepherds are now on the road to Bethlehem. They’ve heard the announcement of Christ’s birth, they’ve seen a multitude of the heavenly host, and they’ve witnessed heaven’s praises that surround the throne of God. What are whey going to do now? “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this!”
When the ambulance or fire truck drive by our house, lights flashing but sirens silenced, I step out to see which neighbor has dialed 911. I wonder what’s going on?
Whether it’s a serious accident or just a fender bender, highway traffic crawls to a stop because everyone want to see what happened.
Crash! What was that? Maybe someone dropped a plate and it just broke into a million pieces. Gotta go see what happened.
Knock, knock. You glance up and see the delivery truck drive away. And then you go to see what they just dropped off at your front door.
A few thousand years later, we certainly understand why the shepherds took the road to Bethlehem that night. How we wish we could go and see the baby Jesus, wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger. We’ve seen it in pictures, in movies and in our minds. We set out nativities so the scene is displayed in our homes. If it meant we had to stay up all night keeping watch over a flock of sheep, we would gladly do that to have the chance to go and see what the angels announced!
I believe this is part of why we, like Paul, desire to depart and be with the Lord. Of course we want to leave this world filled with suffering and sadness. But we also want to go and see him. We want to see the one we’ve heard so much about. We want to see Jesus!
In the meantime, I get to hear the announcement of the angel. I get to join in the angels’ song of praise. I’ve got our route planned out – he is the way! When it’s time, I’m also going to say, “Let’s go!”
Lord, I’m jealous. The shepherds get to go and see! I can’t wait to join them. Thanks for making that possible. Amen.