I wanted to get this posted at the start of Christmas day...but that did not happen.
I hope you enjoy this special edition!!
It is amazing to see how different people respond to art work. So many factors go into individual responses. Personal preferences, mood, context, association, exposure, and historical background all play a part in how one will react/respond to a work of art, a collection of art, or an art movement/style. While a painting may move one individual to tears... the same work may elicit no response from another. It doesn't mean that the unresponsive individual is lacking artistic understanding or basic human emotion (too dramatic..I'm an artist! ha ha)...it is just their response (a lack of response is still a response). It also could be that they are having an internal dialog/response concerning the work, but do not show it on the outside. Not everyone is a verbal processor or wears their heart on their sleeve. If they feel the need to share....they will.
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2: 16-20
I love the dichotomy found within these verses. We see the response of the shepherds after their encounter with the angels, and the response of Mary after giving birth to Jesus & hearing the shepherds share their story.
The shepherds can hardly contain themselves! Do you blame them? I think if angels visited me & shared this amazing news...I'd have a hard time being quiet too!
I also understand Mary's response. Her life has just changed. She is a new mom. Her child is the Promised One. She's in a stinkin' stable! Shepherds just shared the most amazing story with her. Yes, this might cause me to turn inward & contemplate all that is going on in & around me.
How do you respond when God does amazing things in your life? How do you respond when you are struggling, confused, or hurting? How do you respond when your life just seems to be coasting along? There is no perfect/right answer......but there is a genuine response which comes from within you. That response may be seen by others at times...or may be between you and God at times. However, our world is longing for genuine responses to life....not over inflated...not under inflated...not fake....not covered up....just real people responding to real life. They need to see us in our good times...and in our bad. Doing so allows others to see how a relationship with God impacts life for the believer. How will you respond?