Christmas touches our hearts, inspires our imaginations, and stirs the deepest and most creative springs within us. In its celebration, we fashion and paint our best art, write our best music, use our most decorative skills, and tell our best stories. One such story is of the shepherds found in Luke 2:8-20
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men. (15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. (18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. (19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”
Think for a moment. The night was no different from many others that season. The moon shined brightly surrounded by heaven's stars that watched as the quiet rural pastures around Israel settled in for the night. Just an ordinary night, yet the night wouldn't be soon forgotten. Put yourself in the shepherds' place. You're performing your daily work when suddenly the sky is full of light and an angelic being is telling you, a simple shepherd, that the very Son of God was born near where you're standing. Then a whole host of angels appear and begin singing praises to God. The skies are no longer dark, but light shines more brightly than the sun. The night is no longer quiet, but all of creation seems to be singing praise.
How did the shepherds respond? They left everything, even their sheep, and ran to Jesus' birthplace. Once in Bethlehem, the shepherds no doubt wonder at the scene. But after they had seen Christ, notice their reaction: "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child." After all they witnessed, the shepherds couldn't keep the events of the night to themselves. They had to spread the word that the Messiah had finally come
As we celebrate this Christmas season and take time to remember Jesus' birth, take note of the shepherds' reaction after seeing Jesus. They couldn't wait to tell everyone about God’s gift! Our reaction to the story of Christ's birth should be the same. God gave His Son for our salvation. That alone should prompt us to share the first Christmas story with those around us.
Thousands of years ago, we were all given the best Christmas gift possible. Let's do what we do best, and tell others about that gift this Christmas.
We wish you, from our home to your home, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Christ-centered NEW YEAR in the Lord during 2013.