8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 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.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
I think the scripture for today does this very thing, and reminds me of how personal God truly is.
I want to share some of my discoveries from today:
• God never stops reaching out to the disenfranchised, lonely, unimportant, common folk. Look at how God actually chose to tell these lowly shepherds about the most important thing in the world! - He scares them like crazy, but after they freaked out, they realized the angels were talking to them about something they had been waiting their whole lives to happen -- the Messiah was coming to save the world. Likely, their lives were very difficult- sleeping outside, caring for sheep. Jesus knew they needed to hear good, great news to encourage them and remind them that He sees them and understands their lives.
• God is always on time! He is usually never ahead of time. Notice how the angels told the shepherds in verse 11- “ TODAY in the town of David, a Savior has been born for you, he is Christ the Lord”. The shepherds needed to hear that the event that will change their lives was happening TODAY. I find I always need to hear God remind me that He is here TODAY with me, always. I often want to know what is happening ahead of time so I can plan! I am learning that God wants me to let go, trust Him and even though it seems like I am walking into thin air, believe that He is guiding and will let me know the plan when it is ready. I have been impatient about finding a condo, and kept looking and searching for months on the Redfin app, but God knew my “ list” of things that were important to me, and He heard me say it was ok if it did not all work out, but He brought it all! Just like Him to do that-- so personal, sensitive, loving.
• God will receive the glory for all that He does. Verse 13 and 14 interrupt this passage to do just that-- Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests”. I wonder if the shepherds understood the meaning of this as they stared into the now brilliant night sky with mouths wide open. I am sure they zeroed in on the ‘peace’ part of the announcement. There is no question as to who will be glorified.
• God’s love and message is so revolutionary, it is worth leaving your livelihood over! The shepherds actually left their work behind. I still have questions about that-- what about the sheep? I am sure God took care of that detail as well, but the point is, their lives were changed, and they “spread the word” about what they heard and saw. God changed their lives!
Thank you Father, for being so personal, loving, caring about us and our desires, needs, and even wants. Praise you for giving us your son to be the Saviour of the world. You deserve the praise, and glory for all you are!!
I’m Deborah Samia and I’ve been attending FCC since 2015. As a sculptor, I'd like to share a holiday arts and craft project with you.
The inspiration behind my drawing is a pregnant mother, but instead of carrying a baby, there's the light from a star. She represents all humanity, as we cultivate God’s love and life within us. God is here...on earth as he is in heaven. And the circle is intentionally placed in the center of the image as the center of our Christmas story.
Run time: Approximately 20 minutes