We Were Watching The Sheep, And . . .
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.
Luke 2:20 NLT
Any encounter with God usually expresses itself with praise, peace and proclamation.
Unassuming shepherds understood the significance of an angelic message regarding the anticipated Christ Child. As they were caring for their flocks, they rejoiced, rested and retold the wonderful accounting of promised Redeemer, a merciful Messiah and a sought for Salvation.
There Was A Radiance. “Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,” (Luke 2:9 NLT). God’s glory always gives a glow. His love displays light. When the angelic messenger arrived, there was a surrounding radiance.
There Was A Reassurance. “But the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.’” (Luke 2:10 NLT). The unknown can bring great fear. The good news can replace our fear with faith.
There Was A Recognition. “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.” (Luke 2:11-12 NLT). The Holy Sovereign comes as a humble servant. We recognize the Messiah in His meek and modest birth.
There Was Rejoicing. “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.'” (Luke 2:13-14 NLT). In Jesus, there is jubilation. With the Christ, there is celebration. Our gloom is turned into glory by His grace.
There Was A Response. “When the angels had returned to 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.'” (Luke 2:15 NLT). When God moves, we move, also. The miraculous becomes our mission. We must go and see what He has done.
There Was A Report. “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,” (Luke 2:17-18 NLT). When we see, we share. When we have been transformed, we tell others.
“Angels from the Realms of Glory” is a Christmas carol written by Scottish poet James Montgomery in the 1800’s. The second verse tells the story these searching shepherds.
“Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant light:
Come and worship. Come and worship.
Worship Christ the newborn King.”
They went back to their flocks . . . giving glory and praise to God . . . because God was there . . . and they saw Him. Their divine moment became their defining moment.
What an astonishing story we still tell. It never gets old . . . ’tis the season.