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.” Luke 2:8-12
God has chosen shepherds before. Moses was a shepherd who was tending his sheep when he came upon a burning bush. David learned critical lessons as a shepherd that gave him the ability to knock down a giant. Jesus is described as the “Good Shepherd”.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. John 10:11-13
It is not a coincidence that God chose the shepherds to be the first to hear the Good News about the birth of Christ. It is not a coincidence that he chose people who could withstand the hardships of living outside in the cold and heat with the continual threat of wild animals while all the while protecting creatures who could not protect themselves. It is not a coincidence that God uses those who are able to hear His voice, see His miracles, and follow His direction.
Remember the Story – Remember what happened. Remember what the Shepherds did after they heard the Good News.
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.”
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.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:13-20
What was the aftermath of the sharing of the Good News?
The Shepherds sought out the truth of the revelation. When they had confirmed the miracle, they spread the word and then glorified God!
They did not dismiss the revelation from God but instead acted upon it. They did not sit on the Good News as if it was selfishly meant just for them. They did not use it for their own personal gain! They simply and excitedly shared it with others and then glorified God.
When was the last time we shared the Good News with anyone? When was the last time we enthusiastically expressed the joy of the birth of Christ with others? When was the last time we truly Glorified God?
As we proceed through Advent, lets challenge ourselves and each other in the midst of the celebrations to celebrate like the shepherds – enthusiastically sharing the Good News of the birth of Christ – plus the rest of the Story – that Christ died and is resurrected and will come AGAIN!