(Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash)
But the angel said, "Do not be afraid. I bring you
good news of great joy that will be for all people."
The night Jesus was born, there were shepherds in a nearby field watching their sheep. They thought it was an ordinary night, but they were wrong. Because out of nowhere an angel appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone all around! They were terrified! Wouldn't you be? I know I would be if I were in their situation. What was happening?
They soon found out when the angel started to speak. "Don't be afraid. I've got some great news to tell you that will bring joy to all people. Today, a Savior was born in Bethlehem. He is the Messiah, Christ the Lord. You will recognize Him because He is the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a whole army of angels, and they praised God saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those with whom God is pleased." Then the angels went back to heaven, and the shepherds were alone again with their sheep.
The shepherds started talking to one another saying, "Let's go to Bethlehem and find this baby the angel talked about." And off they went! Soon they found Mary and Joseph, and a baby wrapped in cloths. He was lying in a manger! They knew this was the Messiah the angels had told them about! After the shepherds saw Jesus, they were so excited that they told everyone what they had seen. People were amazed! We don't know if the people who were amazed also went to worship Jesus, but at the very least, the shepherds were "planting a seed" that might later grow into belief.
Some say that the shepherds going to see Jesus was the fulfillment of Psalm 72:9a, which says, "Desert nomads will bow before him..." Shepherds were often considered nomads because they had no permanent home. They wandered from place to place; stopping to stay wherever they found water. Whether these shepherds fulfilled this verse or not, we know that someday when Christ returns, "Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord" (Is 45:23 & Rom 14:11).
Will we be like the shepherds? Will we worship Jesus who is Christ the Lord? Will we tell others what we have seen? Christ the Savior was born on that glorious night, and He lives today! Hallelujah!
Tomorrow we celebrate Jesus' birth! I pray you will all experience the joy and wonder that comes from knowing that Christ loved you enough to come down from heaven to be born as a baby on that night long ago!
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!
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