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Responding to the Wonder of Christmas:
Part 2 – Resolution

December 28, 2021 • Life for Leaders

Scripture – Luke 2:13-14 (NRSV)

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”

Focus

During the season of Christmastide, as you ponder the birth of Jesus and its meaning, ask the Lord if there is something you need to do. As you sense God’s leading, decide to act. Exercise resolution by making a firm choice that leads to tangible action. Think and live in the reality of Christmas today.

Today’s devotion is part of the series Responding to the Wonder of Christmas. It’s also part of the series Following Jesus Today.

Devotion

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, I began a short series of reflections I’m calling: Responding to the Wonder of Christmas. In the last devotion, we focused on the response of fear that the shepherds felt when visited by an angel. Today we’ll examine another response of the shepherds: resolution.

After the angel announced to the shepherds the good news of the birth of the Savior, the heavens exploded with a giant angelic choir that proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:14). Then the angels disappeared.

No longer afraid, the shepherds talked among themselves about how to respond to the angelic message. Luke reports that they said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us” (2:15). They didn’t just kick around a few ideas and leave it at that. Nor did they decide to wait until morning, when it was light, to act. Rather, they decided then and there to go and check out what the Lord had made known to them through the angel. They didn’t delay. They chose to act. They were resolute.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “resolute” as “marked by firm determination.” If we are resolute about something, then we have resolved strongly to do it (or not do it). We’re not waffling or hesitating.

And we’re not doing what we generally associate with this time of year: making New Year’s resolutions. You know what I’m talking about. As we come up on the change of year, many of us decide to live better in the new year: to eat more wisely, to exercise more faithfully, to be more regular in daily devotions, and so forth. The problem is, as I’m sure you know, that most of us don’t stick with our resolutions for more than a few days. The common activity associated with New Year’s resolutions – breaking them – is really not being resolute.

Proof of true resolution is action. It’s doing faithfully what we have resolved to do. In tomorrow’s Life for Leaders devotion, we’ll see that the shepherds did what they had decided to do. So their resolution was genuine.

Today, I want to underscore the importance of thoughtful resolution. Though action is important, before we act appropriately, we need to have thought carefully and chosen decisively. So, when it comes to our response to the birth of Jesus, we may not be ready to rush out and do something significant and wise. We may need, first of all, to consider carefully and resolve intentionally. Like the shepherds, we may want to do this with others. Spiritual discernment happens best in community. Engaging with others not only helps us to make the best choices, but also supplies accountability once we have resolved to act.

During the season of Christmastide, as you ponder the birth of Jesus and its meaning, ask the Lord if there is something you need to do. As you sense God’s leading, decide to act. Exercise resolution by making a firm choice that leads to tangible action. Think and live in the reality of Christmas today.

Reflect

Do you sense that God is leading you to do something in this season of Christmas? If so, what is it?

Are you willing to decide to do what God is guiding you to do? If so, why? If not, why not?

Act

If you sense that God is leading you to do something, resolve to do it. If you’re not sure, set aside some time to talk with the Lord about how you might respond actively to the reality of Christmas.

Pray

Gracious God, thank you for the glory and reality of Christmas! Thank you for this season of the year in which to reflect on the meaning of the Incarnation and its relevance for our lives.

Help me to know, Lord, if you are directing me to do something in response to the reality of Christmas. And, if you are, help me to resolve wisely and strongly, so that I might do whatever it is that you desire. Amen.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: O Come, All Ye Faithful


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One thought on “Responding to the Wonder of Christmas:
Part 2 – Resolution

  1. DiAnne says:

    Yes, well I set out right as Christmas was coming (about 4 days before) God gave me a reason to check the Scriptures for the promised seed of woman, and did you know there are only 5 places in the Hebrew Scriptures where the word “seed” comes up in the singular (when it refers to a person, not a plant or animal).

    1) Genesis 3:15 her seed (singular with a feminine ending — hey); well, we also have his seed in the masculine singular (meaning the serpent—which doesn’t really qualify as a person but a serpent).

    2) Genesis 22:18 in your seed all the nations will be blessed (singular masculine)

    3) 2 Samuel 7:12-13 your seed (singular masculine); where God says through the prophet God’s son will have an everlasting kingdom.

    4) Isaiah 53:10 your descendant (singular masculine word seed);

    5) Jeremiah 31:27 in new covenant language it says seed of man (singular masculine).

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