The First Christmas Message

One of the oldest occupations, shepherding, began about 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Their duty was to keep their flock together and protect it from would-be threats. The shepherds were usually babies of their family and if they were paid, the pay was small. Many may have seen this as a thankless job, and in many ways it was no picnic, leading a nomadic life and sometimes very dangerous, warding off sheep attackers!

Have you ever wondered what might have been going through the minds of the shepherds that night over 2,000 years ago when the angels declared the birth of a King??! If they were anything like me, they may have been counting down the hours/days when either 5:00 p.m. or the weekend would be there! Maybe they were missing family members or a girlfriend…were any of them thinking about the gift of the heavens above them just before the incredible message?

I can only imagine how scared they must have been at first, and how awesome those angels must have looked and sounded when the news was delivered, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him; You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feed box. Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”

Would you have believed it?? There’s a reason why there was more than one shepherd in that field that night! If there had been only one, there’s no way that he would have told anyone what he had just seen, he would have been too afraid he would have been committed! How magnificent God’s plan was, so that things worked out perfectly so the shepherds would know how to find the baby Jesus, the Savior of the world!

The world didn’t esteem shepherds too highly, but God sure held this group in high esteem, sending them these glorious messengers! Many heroes from the Bible were shepherds: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, and Amos. Jesus also instructed Peter that to show his love for Him, he should feed His sheep. 

With our tendency of  putting ourselves into harm’s way and our inability to guide and take care of ourselves, is it any wonder that Jesus described himself as the Good Shepherd?

As you are working in service to the Lord, please remember that even though the world may not esteem you, and that even though your work may never be recognized here on this earth, the angels in heaven see you. You are not forgotten, you are just like those that were chosen many years ago to hear about the Good News of Jesus! 

Merry Christmas everyone, God bless you!

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