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Third Week of Advent

Third Week of Advent: Reflection on Gratitude

The Surprising Gift of Gratitude

Luke 2:8-20

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 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.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Out in the quiet fields near Bethlehem, shepherds gathered under the vast night sky. Suddenly, an angelic chorus broke the silence, announcing the birth of the Savior. In the midst of the shepherds’ amazement and disbelief, a loud message cut through the darkness: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)

Gratitude, this unexpected gift, showed up for the shepherds like an unwrapped present. In our busy lives, it’s easy to miss the powerful magic of gratitude. But in that moment, the shepherds were standing on the edge of something eternal: joy flows from gratitude.

Think about how they reacted: without hesitation, the shepherds embraced the divine announcement and rushed to see the miracle in the manger. Gratitude powered them forward, turning uncertainty into purpose.

Gratitude helps us push through fear and doubt. It’s not just for those Instagrammable moments but also totally relevant in the everyday chaos. Like those shepherds, we can also experience the divine invitation to embrace gratitude.

Pause for a moment. Reflect on the unexpected joys that have brightened your life this week, especially the ones you might have missed. Gratitude is not just a warm feeling; it drives us to move forward with purpose.

As we journey through this advent season, let’s unwrap the gift of gratitude. What moments of joy have you overlooked in the hustle of life? How can gratitude transform your uncertainties into purposeful action?