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.
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