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In the book of Luke chapter two verse eight we find a new scene to the story.
[That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flock of sheep.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said.
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign; you will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven-praising God and saying.
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to the heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem!
Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.
After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
All who heard the shepherds story were astonished but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.
It was just as the angel had told them.]
When reading this the first thing we need to remember is the job of a shepherd.
They were social outcasts not really liked by most in the city.
They were fearless, they had to be so they could protect their sheep from any animal who may come to harm them while in the fields.
They were rough and tough and most likely not well kept as they were out in the fields most of the time.
They were not credible witnesses and not someone to be invited in ones home.
So we find these guys. These out of character guys, to be chosen to be a part of the story of Jesus.
Isn’t that amazing that God would show up and allow them to be given this privilege and even honor.
Can you even imagine these men who knew the night sky as they looked at every night.
These men who knew when something was different with the moon or stars, all of a sudden see radiance coming towards them.
It says they were terrified. We probably would be too, the brilliance and the glory was something no one had ever seen and it was noted that the angel told them not to be afraid.
The skies opened up and all of heaven sang. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
It would be breathtaking, startling, maybe even a bit emotional, for these rough and tough men.
Then it tells us they hurried to see the baby. That means they left their flock unprotected.
That is something no shepherd would ever do, but it was God who challenged them.
Can you imagine them standing or even kneeling near the tiny little baby.
Then they told others and they were believed. Making them credible witnesses.
Isn’t it like God to take an ordinary person, and change them into a ‘voice’ that others will listen to?
wow… it was just as the angel had told them. A baby was born.