The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Luke 2:20 NLT

Christmas, my friends, is over. At my house, the stockings are empty. The tree skirt, devoid of presents, is once again visible. Instead of counting down the days to the celebration, we now wonder how long is customary to leave the decorations up.

But I’m left to wonder, how have I been changed by Christmas?

The shepherds faced a similar dilemma. The sheep didn’t start tending themselves after the birth of our Savior. Life went on with them, just as it does for us. They left the stable, but the stable didn’t leave them! They went on their way rejoicing, and you can bet some brand new evangelists were minted that night.

So Christmas changed the shepherds, even as they went back to their daily lives. Work didn’t magically get easier. They still lived in a country under Roman rule, and they still had to pay the tax which brought Mary and Joseph home to begin with! But they now had a different outlook on life than they did before. They now had a fresh, Heavenly perspective, and they would never be the same.

As you clean up the leftovers and pack away the ornaments, chances are your life hasn’t changed any. The issues you faced on December 23 will still be there on December 26. But this time, you can be different! You have heard the Good News of a newborn king, and you can have a new perspective on the daily grind of your earthly existence.

Carry that joy and wonder back to work with you, back into the hospital room of a loved one, back into your prayer closet where you wait for a prodigal’s return. Remember the good news of great joy that came for all people – me, you, and that crotchety neighbor next door. Dwell on promises kept and prayers answered so long ago in Bethlehem, and know that God will meet you right where you are today.

Let Christmas change you.