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!” (Luke 2:8-14 ESV)
Have you ever stopped to think about the shepherd’s song? The low hum of sheep mixed with the gentle calling of the shepherd to bring them all home again. The lives of the shepherd are lonely, isolated and centered on caring for sheep.
Have you ever considered how and why the shepherds were included in the story of the birth of Jesus? What is the significance of a group of solitary shepherds to the birth of our Lord?
My church has just completed a short series on Christmas: Behind the Scenes – a look at Christmas from the perspective of people who had a “behind the scenes” look at the arrival of Jesus. The first focus group were the shepherds who were an unimpressive people with dirty, lowly jobs. Yet God sent His angels to the shepherds to announce the good news of Jesus’ birth. The message that was sent on this day was that God will choose the least likely people to carry His message to join in a relationship with Him. When God chose the shepherds to be present and celebrate the birth of Jesus, He set a precedent of choosing the ordinary to share in His extraordinary-people like you and I.
Our weakness, lack of influence and lowliness is a call to step out in wonder at the mighty work of the Hands of God. Our faults become God’s strengths when we surrender them all to Him. The shepherd’s song is our call to follow mightily after God even when fear seizes us along the way.
Imagine the shepherds out in the field in the dark of night alone with their thoughts and their herd of sheep. Pause to picture the beauty of the night sky and the stillness surrounding them. Now look up and spot the brightest star-open your eyes and heart to the glory of God shining down on you.
The shepherds followed the Angel’s call and faithfully journeyed to see the baby Jesus with their own eyes.
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:15
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The birth of Jesus is a sign for all of us – a sign that all are invited even the outcasts.
Jesus is a sign that God is involved-His hand in our life guides us to walk closer with Him.
Finally, Jesus is a sign of God’s investment. God brought His Son to Earth as the ultimate sacrifice to save us all.
May we all feel Jesus’ presence in our lives and know that He came especially just for us. His love and grace spilled out one night thousands of years ago was our call to walk with Him.
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