Luke 2:10-11 – But the angel said to [the shepherds], "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (NIV)
"Stop! What's that up ahead of us?" I asked my husband who was driving our rental car over some back roads in the highlands of Scotland. About a thousand sheep were being herded down the middle of the road by a shepherd driving an all-terrain vehicle. Later, when preparing for Christmas, I thought of how different things would have been for the shepherds the night Christ was born.
What was it like to be a shepherd on that night so long ago? They were sitting at the fire, after gathering the sheep into the folds for safety, warming chapped hands, and watching the sparks drift lazily upwards in the night sky.
What was it like to hear the angels' song announcing the birth of the promised one, the King of kings? To the shepherds, the angels' song was the answer to their search for God's promised Messiah. The prophets had foretold His coming, and, because their hearts were prepared, the shepherds recognized the truth of the angel's message. They rejoiced, left their flock, and went to worship the baby in the manger.
Today, there are people all around us who, because they have never heard the message, do not recognize that the King of kings has been born to bring hope, to bring forgiveness of sin, to bring salvation. As we celebrate this Christmas season, let's look for ways to share the true message of Christmas, so that those who are waiting to hear may, like the shepherds, bow at the manger and worship Jesus Christ, the King.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to rejoice in Your gift to us. Make us mindful that we, like the angels, have a wonderful message of hope, peace, love, and salvation to share with our world. Amen.