I love thinking about the shepherd’s scene. They were peacefully resting with their sheep on a hillside near Bethlehem. All was quiet and calm and into the night an angel appeared to them. Just like the others in our story, they were afraid. The angel knew they were not just afraid but terrified. They were told to put their fears away and rejoice in the news the angel had for them.
Luke 2:8-14 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Why would God choose lowly shepherds as the first to know this glorious and heavenly news? Perhaps because it shows that the Savior, God’s Son, came to all people not just kings and priests. He was the Savior and Messiah of all men- rich and poor. Perhaps it was because Jesus was to be known as the shepherd of God’s own people. Many times Jesus used analogies about believers as being sheep and He called himself the good shepherd in John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” We as sheep know the shepherd’s voice. John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Whatever God’s reasons, they were a privileged group that did not let this heavenly experience leave them unaffected. They marveled at the scene, took in the message and acted upon it as we will see in tomorrow’s passage.
The shepherds were given the Who– Christ, the Savior, Messiah has arrived
When– right now,
What– a special child, the Messiah has been born
Why– because His arrival brings good news and joy to all mankind
The shepherds were told this glorious, heavenly news and could not stay put but left their sheep and went in search of this Christ Child.
What about you? What heavenly news have your received? You probably were not visited by an angelic choir but God called and spoke to you when you came to know Jesus. Was it life changing? If it was and you feel your first love has faded, pray and ask God to renew your first love for Him. In Revelation, the church at Ephesus was chastised for losing their first love. They had persevered in the faith but had lost their fervor. Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Let us renew our love for Christ this Christmas and bask in the joy of His coming. Let us rely upon the truth of His Word as we seek to live daily for Him. If you have not received the truth of who Jesus is and His love and forgiveness, don’t waste another minute. Pray and ask God to forgive you and claim His gift of eternal life. John 1:9 “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” John 3:16 “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Rejoice this Christmas in knowing Him as Savior.
May your encounter this Christmas with the Christ child be glorious and joyful!