When we began working on this book, my sister was very adamant that she didn’t want our reader to feel pressured into reading a section every day or even every week and I agreed. Christmas is a crazy time of year and we didn’t want to add to another thing on the to-do list. We hoped that our book would become a quiet place to escape the crazy when it all becomes too much. I’m glad we made that decision because even though I did read the Shepherds devotional to my kids this week, I haven’t had a spare moment to write this post. Since we didn’t put pressure on our readers, I haven’t felt pressure on myself either. So even though tomorrow is Angel Sunday, let’s talk about the Shepherds today.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them….And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Luke 2:8-12, 15-17, & 20
When the time came for God to send His perfect Son into the world, He could have sent His angels to make the announcement to kings or priests, but instead He chose to send them to a group of outcasts. Shepherds worked with animals and had a bad reputation for being troublemakers, so why did God choose this group to be the first to hear the good news? The answer is simple: this news was for them. His message said, “Look! I just sent the Perfect Gift! The Savior has come! And He isn’t just a gift for priests and kings, He is for you. He is for the troublemakers and the outcasts. Jesus is here and He is going to make peace between God and man. Come and see him! Come receive my Gift!”
For unto you is born this day…
The shepherds remind us that Jesus is a gift for you and me. No matter how much the rest of the world rejects us, He is for us. He is FOR us. His grace is bigger than our sin and the sins against us. This truth hits especially close to home for me this year. When I wrote the Shepherds devotional in June, I had no idea how much I would need it in December. Jesus is FOR me. Though none go with me, I still will follow. May you feel the power of this special truth this Christmas as well.