And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
One of the most famous scenes in a Christmas film comes from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Charlie Brown is very frustrated, and he shouts, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” And Linus answers “Sure Charlie Brown. I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” He goes to the front of the stage and recites Luke 2:8-14. But is this just a cute part of a children’s cartoon or is there more to this story?
In announcing the birth of the long-promised Messiah, why telling shepherds? Shepherds were just above ‘tax collector’ on the Jewish “jobs people don’t like” scale. Imagine being one of those shepherds: You’re minding your own business, watching the sheep at night and then next thing you know you are right in the middle of a heavenly light show. Then an angelic being says “don’t be afraid.” They were terrified, but they listened to the message of the heavenly host.
Those shepherds had a choice. They could not believe what had just happened to them or they could believe and receive this heavenly message and share it with others. To the shepherds’ credit, they did go find the one the heavenly messenger told them about and they did share the Good News.
Thought of the day: Over 2,000 years later we have the same choice. Either to believe and receive this heavenly message and choose to share it with others, or to ignore it. What choice do you need to make? To receive the message or to share the message?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to receive Your message of “Good News” today. Help me to share Your message with others. That Jesus really is the reason for the season. In Jesus’ name, amen.