Luke 2:8–21 (ESV)
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 And in the
same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 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. 10 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. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths
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,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 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.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying
that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they
had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Shepherds are out in the field minding their own business, keeping watch over their flock. Shepherds rank real low on the status pole. Today we poke fun at plumbers with their plumber’s credentials,
but they are laughing all the way to the bank. Plumbers are at least making money. Shepherds don’t get to laugh on the way to the bank. Why would an angel of the Lord take the news of Christ’s birth to a bunch of shepherds and
not to the local newspaper? It seems like this would be the job of the town crier, to get the news out.
The angel had to tell them to “fear not”, because he scared the living daylight
out of them. He shares with the shepherds the good news of the birth of a baby “who is Christ the Lord.” Get this, it is the angel that is calling the baby the “Christ” which is not a name, but a title
that means “anointed one.” The next thing you know is that a multitude of heavenly host are praising God. What I find amazing is what happens next. I could spend a lot of time on the different details, but if your digging into
the details, you might miss the big picture. The angels leave and the shepherds say “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They are not going to verify, but
to “see this thing that has happened.” They believe and know it happened (past tense). Here is the big picture that is easy to miss. They saw and they told!
Nobody told them to go and spread the news. These shepherds saw and reacted by going and telling others, that is ... sharing the gospel. Are you in awe of the Christ Child? Are you thankful for the gift of forgiveness and eternal life?
Are you so excited that you cannot help but to go tell others about Jesus? The shepherds lived the great commission. They did not have to be told, they simply reacted. Shepherds? A great choice! Their enthusiasm makes me think
of the story about the woman at the well who couldn’t contain herself and had to go tell everyone, but that story is yet to come. I pray: Lord, help me to share the good news of the Christ child. Lord, it seems that often I veil my
excitement by not screaming from the mountain top. Help me to let the light of Christ shine on all the people. Help me to reach out and share the love of Jesus, to share forgiveness and eternal life. Amen.