Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything, but God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before 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; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
During the Christmas season my family and I watch many of the annual Christmas specials on television. One of my favorites is Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer. I have to admit, the Island of Misfit Toys in the story makes this grown man cry every time. I see them as creatures of faith, wishing and praying for a better day to come, when Santa will stop at their island to take them to a child who will love them unconditionally. (Spoiler Alert: thanks to Rudolph, their prayers are answered!)
The shepherds in the Christmas scripture are similar in nature. I can imagine them in the fields outside of Bethlehem, sitting around the campfire at night, conversing while watching their flocks and the skies above them. Wishing. Praying. Dreaming. Hoping for the day when they would be rescued by the coming of the Messiah. Who would have dreamed they, lowly shepherds, would be the first ones told – by a heavenly host of angels no less – of the Messiah’s birth – and given instructions to be a witness to others of the miracle that had taken place! The Messiah had come!
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this year, may be also be like the shepherds who did not lose hope in their situation but lived in the dream of a better life with Christ.
Thank You, God, for this wonderful season, and thank You for sending your Son to bring hope, joy, peace and love to the world. Merry Christmas! Amen!
Go with God!