On The Second Day of Jesus’ Birth
“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2:16-18
We know that on the first night of Jesus’ birth the sky was filled with angels declaring “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Shepherds came running to the manger from all around the village of Bethlehem to see the Christ child and to worship Him. There was great excitement and celebration that night.
In keeping with the customs of the time the shepherds and those who heard their message would have brought provisions of food and clothes for the baby and the family. We have no record of who may have been accompanying Mary and Joseph on their journey; whether there were other family members who were with them we do not know. But, the shepherds and their families would have stepped in, especially the women, to assist Mary as a first-time young mother. The men would have engaged with Joseph to provide wood for the fires and oil for the lamps. This shepherd community of ordinary folks would have surely embraced them as one of their own.
But what happened on the second day? The Scriptures don’t tell us specifically. But, there are some indicators that can give us some idea of what would have followed in the days after Jesus’ birth. At some point during that first night the shepherds and townspeople would have returned to the fields or their homes. We know that they left with great excitement to tell everybody what they had seen and heard.
“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:16-20
Joseph must have sought more long-term and more adequate housing for his family and Mary would have been subject to the 12 months of purification (see Esther 2:12) as was the custom. It is not clear if they spent more than one night in the stable, so by the second day they could have already been moving to the “house” where the Kings, (Wise men from the East) would find them when they came to Bethlehem led by the Star.
“When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.” Matthew 2:9-12
The second day, though still extraordinary because the preceding day changed the course of all time on earth and throughout all creation forever, it was nevertheless a day of ordinary human activity and concerns; finding shelter, securing it and stocking it with provisions and establishing a daily course of living to nurture and bring up the child in the way of the Lord.
The first Christmas day marked a new beginning for all and brought the message of Good News and great joy to all people. The second day continued the proclamation of the shepherds. They were the first to hear it and the first to proclaim it.
So too, now, we, like them, have the opportunity to continue to spread the Good News to everyone that a Savior is here. But, greater than those shepherds who first heard the message of the angels, we have the message of the risen Lord, the Savior, Redeemer King, Who has overcome death, hell and the grave and sealed our salvation with His blood and given us an earnest of our eternal inheritance in the person of the Holy Spirit, Who has come to abide with us forever. [John 14:16; Ephesians 1:13-14]
So, we boldly declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He has come to save all who will believe and receive Him by faith. The invitation from the Father is here. Whosoever will, let him come.
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” Joel 2:32
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13