This post is courtesy of my sweet and godly mom…enjoy, and have a blessed Christmas day!
I picture the shepherds of Bethlehem as a quiet lot, not given to much conversation, not living exciting lives, experiencing some boredom on the night watches, wondering if this was all that life held. (I don’t think of them as having poetic souls though I am reminded of the Shepherd-King, David who spent many years as a shepherd…and we have the songs of his solitude to refresh us). Picture the shepherds, out in the darkness, waiting for morning, not expecting anything more exciting than perhaps a wolf or dog agitating the sheep.
But the angel of the Lord! Why, it could almost give you a heart attack! Don’t you love that ‘And, lo’? Out of the darkness of the night sky, the angel of the Lord came upon them. I think my own heart would have stopped! And the glory of the Lord shone round about them. I see the glory of the Lord in the Scriptures when they reveal Him to me. But these shepherds were ‘sore’ afraid. No wonder! They were stunned! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! Proverbs 9:10. I bet they were awestruck! A very logical response to the appearance of the glory of the Lord.
And the first thing the angel said was, ‘Be not afraid!’ I wonder if that really calmed them; it calms me when He speaks ‘be not afraid’ to me. But then he revealed what every Jewish person had been waiting for for hundreds of years…Good news! Good news! Unto you is born this day a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. And you will find Him in Bethlehem.
Then, on top of that astounding sight, a multitude of heavenly hosts appeared with the messenger angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God’! It was a ‘Messiah’ moment, bursting into praise and glory…wonder if that is how Handel felt when he was writing that wonderful Hallelujah Chorus.
Let’s give God glory for the birth of His Son! Let’s accept the peace God promised at the birth of His Son and at the new birth when we receive Him. Rejoice in the Lord always because of God’s gift of good will! The law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ!
As the shepherds immediately headed for Bethlehem to find the Babe, let us seek Him also; let’s join in the fulness of grace and truth which He has promised when we seek Him in prayer and the Word.