I thought I might do a little something, this year, that would help me focus on what this season is really about, and maybe it could help you, too. I’m going to take the story of Jesus’s birth, found in Luke 2, and go verse by verse, 1 through 24, to see what happens. Here we go…


…and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.





Overwhelmed with surprise and sudden wonder.

These are all listed in the dictionary under “amazed.”

And the Greek word for “amazed,” as it is used in this verse? θαυμάζω (thaumázō), meaning “marvel.” Every instance I could find that it is used in the Bible has to do with Jesus, some with His amazement at other people’s faith, but mainly reactions to His miracles.

All those who heard the shepherds’ retelling of what they had heard from the angel, and seen with their own eyes in Bethlehem, were amazed…dumfounded…flabbergasted.

Are we?

The story has not changed. Neither has the One at the center of it. But I, for one, don’t think I’m as bowled over by it as I should be. A baby was born to a virgin – a VIRGIN – conceived by the God of the universe. An army of angelic beings came to earth to announce His arrival. He was sent – WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS – by a God who loved us enough to save us from that sin through the sacrifice of His own Son, so He wouldn’t have to be separated from us ever again. Because He DELIGHTS in our sad, insignificant little selves. Because He finds us WORTHY to be COHEIRS WITH CHRIST.

That, my friends, is dumfounding. Flabbergasting. Absolutely OVERWHELMING.

Let it soak in.



This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. ~ John 3:16-17 MSG