Read Luke 2:4-21
Who would have imagined that the first news of the Messiah would be given…to shepherds?
Ordinary, unimpressive, scruffy, lonely, hard-working sheep-herders on the fringe of society. Why?
Why not? The social structures of the day may have treated these lonesome laborers as outsiders, but shepherds are dear to God’s heart.
After all, God chose shepherds like Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses for His own. He named David, a shepherd boy, as King of Israel (1 Chronicles 11:2). Over and over, the Lord tenderly cares for His people like a shepherd (Psalm 23; 100:3; Micah 5:4; Isaiah 40:11). And the baby in the manger is the Good Shepherd who loves and leads His beloved flock (John 10:11-15; Hebrews 13:20).
To these shepherds, this baby was their kind of people. And the angel’s news was their kind of news.
God was faithfully bringing the Savior-Messiah to light and life among ordinary people, fulfilling a promise that had threaded its way through Scripture and history since the days of Adam and Eve.
Now, in the chilly darkness, these ragtag shepherds are the first to receive the good news of great joy!
So, they did want any of us do with good news. We tell everybody! When we’ve experienced joy or fulfillment, an answer to our prayers, hopes, and dreams…we can’t keep it to ourselves! We text our friends, call our mom, post it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. We even blab to the grocery clerk or the guy at the next gas pump. We become “evangelists”—sharing whatever our good news is.
Good news must be shared. That’s what the shepherds did—with joy and excitement, exuberant and undeterred from their new mission. They knew that if God had shared it with them, then they clearly had to share it with ALL people, just as the angel said (Luke 2:10).
The message the shepherds heard—the Savior they met face to face—is still the message for ALL people. Some will hear and marvel at the Good News of a Savior (Luke 2:18). Some will reject the message and despise, even hate the messengers. Others will believe it, and embrace the Savior, and carry on sharing the Good News just as the shepherds did.
What will you do? You’ve heard the message of the angels and experienced meeting Jesus the Savior. Now it’s time to follow the shepherds’ lead and tell the world. That’s the mission—and the message—of Christmas.
- How have you experienced the Good News of Jesus? Who needs to hear your story today?
- What keeps you from sharing Jesus, when you find it easy to share other good news?
- Prayerfully ask the Lord to give you courage to share His message and commit the results or responses to Him.
–Barbara Gerhart, Global Disciples